Michelle tracks Santa to cheer American kids

Michelle tracks Santa to cheer American kids

"Hello, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama, with NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence), tracking Santa. How can I help you?" the First Lady said taking up the first call as part of the NORAD Command's 'NORAD Tracks Santa' programme.

The popular programme receives hundreds and thousands of calls every Christmas from across the world.

"I know you have. Well, you know where Santa is right now? Right now I'm looking at the radar and I see a big, bright light. Santa is moving pretty fast, and right now he is in Johannesburg, South Africa. That's what the radar says. He sees him and he's got a sleigh full of toys. So pretty exciting, right?" Michelle Obama said in response to the first question from one Max in Los Angeles.

"Well, it's important, Max, that you know that Santa only comes after boys and girls have gone to sleep, no matter where he is in the world. So Santa won't be at your house until you're fast asleep," she said.

She said that since she has been on the call Santa has flown over several parts of Africa.

"He's flown over Johannesburg, Gabon, Nigeria and he's just moved into Europe. So right now he's right over Rome. So it looks like he's making his way. But what the NORAD team tells me is that he zips around the country -- it's not clear what country he goes to first.

"I think he goes to whatever houses that the kids are asleep, gets it done and then moves on. But right now he's in Italy," she said.

This is a pretty sophisticated tracking system, Michelle said. "They say he flies at unbelievable speeds to do this. But it looks like the weather is clear and they don't believe that there will be any problem with Santa completing all of his tasks by Christmas morning."

"Well, let me look at the radar and I'm going to check right now where they -- oh, my goodness. They spotted a glowing object. It looks like he's -- he's flying over Austria right now. And they're telling me that the sleigh is pretty full and it's being pulled by all nine reindeers including Rudolph.

"And they're moving really fast. The good news -- they say the weather is all clear all around the world and that Santa is not going to have any problems delivering toys this evening," she said in response to another question.

Michelle told another child caller that make sure that everybody in the house gets a good night's sleep.

In all, Michelle took a dozen calls in over 40 minutes from inside the family vacation room in Hawaii, while her two daughters went with their father to the beach.

She told all the kids to keep out cookies and vegetables for Santa and go to sleep as it is only then that Santa would come to their homes.

"You know, he doesn't -- from what I understand from the people at NORAD who've tracked him for centuries, they say he kind of pops all over the country, all over the world. There's no real clear pattern. So it depends on when kids go to sleep.

"If you go to sleep and you're out in a couple hours, he might pop over your house right now. But you've got to be asleep. You've got to make sure you get a good night's sleep," Michelle said when asked by one Sean where Santa is right now.

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