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The NORAD Santa Tracker will still run on federal Christmas Eve holiday

Don’t worry, kids: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has received confirmation from a lieutenant colonel in the North American Aerospace Defense Command that Santa Claus is indeed still coming to town and that you’ll see him coming.

The NORAD Santa Tracker, started in 1955, will continue to operate despite President Donald Trump on Tuesday signing an executive order giving federal employees Christmas Eve off. 

“We would never not,” Lt. Col. Mary Ricks, NORAD spokeswoman, told the AJC.

NORAD staff will work in shifts, but thankfully they have 1,400 volunteers of both civilians and military personnel to answer calls from around the world by children wondering where Santa is at that moment.


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Aside from NORAD, some federal agencies in Atlanta had readjusted their plans. Others were still figuring out how to manage the holiday.

Jim Hatten, clerk of the federal court in Atlanta, said they’d planned to be open with a skeleton crew on Christmas Eve but have now decided to close the court. The other three federal courthouses in Georgia had already planned to be shut down.

As for whether any cases from that day need to be rescheduled, Hatten said: “I doubt there was much of anything, if anything.”

Federal courts don’t call juries that week anyway. That, in addition to electronic filing, has made it so there won’t be much disruption to attorneys or the public.

Other essential Atlanta-based staff at agencies like the National Weather Service will continue working.

The local Federal Aviation Administration office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.


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Employees at federal agencies like Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, one of the most-visited parks in America, and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum told the AJC on Wednesday that they were unsure if they’d be open, and were awaiting guidance.

Rick Badie, a metro Atlanta spokesman for the United States Postal Service, said they’ll still be delivering those holiday cards.

“The Postal Service continues to deliver nearly 16 billion mail and package deliveries this holiday season,” Badie said. “Our retail counters will be open until noon nationally on Dec. 24. However, some retail offices may be open later due to customer needs.”

But forget tracking your package, you can track a jolly fat man flying through the sky here.


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