Santa's on his way: Military helps kids follow fabled flight

Tens of thousands of children from around the world plan to call the North American Aerospace Defense Command to ask where Santa is, and they will get a cheery answer about his mythical route starting Saturday.

The wildly popular NORAD Tracks Santa operation is launching its 61st run at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Volunteers will answer phone calls and emails and post updates about Santa's storybook world tour on Facebook and Twitter.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Paul Noel says 1,500 volunteers answered nearly 141,000 phone calls and more than 2,800 emails last year. The NORAD spokesman is quick to say his name really is Noel.

NORAD Tracks Santa is operating from 4 a.m. MST Christmas Eve until 3 a.m. MST Christmas Day. The toll-free number is 877-446-6723 or 877-Hi-NORAD.