When I was a small girl, I would try desperately to stay awake on Christmas Eve, listening for the tinkling of sleigh bells, for the prancing of reindeer hooves on my roof. It was a tradition in my home to snuggle on my dad’s lap just before my brother and I crawled under the covers, for a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I was enraptured by every word. Every. Single. Word.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
The children were nestled all snug in their beds…
Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
And then in a twinkling, I heard on my roof…
I believed then, and I still do now.
But back then, we just had to imagine Santa’s route. We had to picture when he might be visiting our friends in China, when he might make his way to Russia, West to England and across the Atlantic to the United States. But not now….Now the beauty of technology shows my small people the magic that IS Santa as he makes his way around the world on Christmas Eve.
Delaney and Cooper, who at six and eight believe so deeply that my soul aches at the thought that one day that might change… are glued to the Norad Tracker watching from the moment Santa takes off. Fortunately, Rudolph’s nose gives the Norad team an ‘infrared signature’ that allows the satellites to pick them up as they move. According to their website, they use four high-tech systems to keep track of Santa and his reindeer as they move so they can keep small people like mine up to date: radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets. Apparently, those fighter jets welcome Santa to the United States and (LUCKY THEM!) get to fly alongside them! And for the non-believers, the site even answers the question, ‘Is he real?’.
Each year, I watch as my small people move from listening to their daddy read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – an extraordinary tradition – to watching their eyes widen and their mouths drop open as they witness Santa getting closer and closer.
Naturally, they know they have to scamper up to bed and fall asleep fast… Santa only visits little girls and boys when they have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.
Now THIS is the power of belief. And technology.
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