The official Santa Tracker countdown has officially begun, and for the 60th year, NORAD is tracking Santa's journey from the North Pole around the world.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command defense of the United States and Canada is charged with protecting our airspace from man-made objects in space and continental attacks whether it be by missile, aircraft, or space vehicles. It's up to NORAD to detect, validate, and warn against enemy attacks.

However, this time of year, NORAD takes on another important task - tracking Santa's annual trek around the globe. The effort is managed by NORAD and the United States Northern Command Public Affairs Office at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base.

On the official Santa tracking website, you can see the Santa clock counting down his departure from the North Pole. You can also learn about the history of the Santa tracking program, play games, and listen to music from the Air Force Academy Band.

There's also a cool section where children's questions are answered like "What is Santa's favorite cookie?" or "Can you tell me if my brother is on the naughty list" or "Why are elves so small?"

Once Santa leaves the North Pole, you can track his progress via the website or you can call the Santa tracking hotline at 1-877-HiNORAD for live updates.

Of course, for those on the naughty list, Santa's arrival will be met with dread and regret. Another year, another chunk of coal. When will we ever learn?

But, for all the good little boys and girls, tracking Santa will be a time of glee, jubilation, and anticipation of wonderful presents under the tree.

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