I've been lucky enough to do some Christmas caroling this season with members of my a cappella chorus. During one of those evenings, one of my 20-something fellow singers did a stand-up job of explaining why everyone in her family is still a Santa believer: "You have to believe to receive."
More seriously, Santa is the No. 2 man of the hour on Christmas and Christmas Eve, so I got to thinking about what the word "believe" means. Here's one of the definitions I found:
"to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so"
All this is by way of introducing the subject of today's post, the Google Santa Tracker. I am not blessed with children, so I didn't know about this site, but it apparently has been around since 2004, according to this post by one of my fellow bloggers with ZDNet. Actually, Norad has been tracking Santa's annual trip since 1955, when a Sears ad actually misprinted a phone number for a "Santa hotline." Unbelievably, or believably, the number was for the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He turned out to be an awfully good sport, creating radar updates for children who called the line.
I defy you not to feel a little misty about that. The NORAD video explains what's what.
It makes me a little sad that we only take the time to do stuff like this for one night/day per year. Imagine if we took the time to create other applications of wonder for the children in our lives. Personally, I think that technology will help them get there -- with the appropriate adult supervision over time.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
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