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Family Matters Blog: Blogger Shares Breaking News on Santa

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2010 – The stockings are hung, chestnuts are roasting and presents are piling up under the tree. For children across the nation this can only mean one thing: Santa will soon be on his way.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Col. Lynn Scheel joins North Pole, Alaska, community leaders Dec. 3, 2010, for a formal ceremony designating a permanent candy-cane marker as Santa's new address. Scheel is the vice wing commander of the 354th Fighter Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Yash Rojas

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Thanks to a few holiday spirited organizations, children can stay on top of all of the holiday developments as they unfold this year, from ensuring wish lists make it up north to tracking Santa’s flight on Christmas Eve.

Children who may be getting a late start will be pleased to know that their Santa letters will still make it to their intended location. The city of North Pole, Alaska, with the assistance of the North Pole Economic Development Corporation, has erected a permanent candy cane marker designating "No. 1 Santa Claus Lane" as the address to which letters to Santa should be addressed, according to an Air Force News Service article.

The candy cane marker installation, along with policy changes, has ended privacy issues that had threatened to cancel the "Letters to Santa" program. Letters to Santa is a program created nearly 60 years ago by members of the 58th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

You can read all about this development in the Air Force article written by Air Force Airman 1st Class Yash Rojas.

In other news, children will be pleased to know that Santa’s sleigh – beefed up with some cutting-edge technology -- is ready for its toy-laden mission. Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors at the North Pole have certified Santa One, the reindeer-powered sleigh piloted by Santa Claus, for its Christmas Eve round-the-world delivery mission, according to an FAA news release.

FAA reports that Santa One, led by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is outfitted with new satellite-based NextGen technology, which will allow Santa to deliver more toys to more children with improved safety and efficiency. Read all about it on the FAA website.

And last, but certainly not least, children should power up their computers and check out the North American Aerospace Defense Command website (http://www.noradsanta.org/en/index.html) to begin the countdown to Santa’s all-nighter. And on Christmas Eve, you can track Santa online or from your cell phone thanks to NORAD’s four high-tech Santa-tracking systems: radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.

I know I’ll be keeping an eye out for jolly old St. Nick while pulling my own all-nighter: finally wrapping the gifts.

To comment on this blog or read other posts, please visit the Family Matters Blog website

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