Michelle Obama helps kids track Santa

First lady Michelle Obama spent part of her Christmas Eve fielding questions on the NORAD hotline dedicated to tracking Santa Claus’s journey across the globe.

The first lady spoke to nine children, aged between 3 and 11 years old, for more than half an hour Tuesday morning in Hawaii.

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NORAD — the joint U.S.-Canada organization that monitors and defends North American air space — has “tracked” St. Nick every year since 1955, when a Sears store accidentally printed the telephone number of the organization in an advertisement for in-store Santas.

Children who call the line — or visit NORADSanta.org — can see where in the world Santa is delivering gifts. More than a thousand volunteers staff the hotline.

During the first lady’s conversations, NORAD pinpointed Santa as traveling over Africa. But most children were interested in knowing when their presents might be delivered.

“Make sure you go to sleep, close your eyes, get a good night’s sleep, and as soon as you’re fast asleep, Santa is going to know, and he’s going to turn his sleigh around, and he’s going to come right to you, OK?” the first lady told one of the children.

It is the fourth consecutive year that the first lady has volunteered for the Santa tracking program.