First lady Michelle Obama helps make Christmas wishes come true by answering calls from children trying to track Santa’s flight around the world.
Michelle Obama has helped make holiday wishes come true by helping children track how much progress Santa had made on his gift-giving journey on Christmas Eve.
The first lady joined military personnel by answering phone calls and emails on Saturday as part of the annual North American Aerospace Defense Command Tracks Santa operation.
While many would love to receive a Christmas Eve phone call from the first lady, a little boy named Austin really just wanted to speak to Santa.
‘I want to hear Santa talk,’ said Austin, one of a handful of kids who called the NORAD Tracks Santa program on Saturday and found Michelle Obama on the other end of the line.
Mrs Obama, who is in Hawaii on vacation with her family, patiently explained that Santa couldn’t get to the phone ‘because he’s delivering all the gifts’.
But Austin also had another concern in mind: Would Santa know where to go?
‘I’m going to move to another house,’ said Austin, joined by three other kids in North Carolina.
No matter, Mrs Obama replied.
‘He’s going to be able to find you no matter where you go,’ she said, according to a transcript released by the White House. ‘That’s the special thing about Santa.’
The first lady spent roughly a half-hour taking calls before joining her husband, daughters Sasha and Malia and family friends for lunch in Honolulu.
It is the last time Mrs Obama will carry out her annual Christmas ritual as first lady.
The tradition started in 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper ad invited children to call Santa Claus but accidentally listed the number for the hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor.
Air Force Col Harry Shoup took a call from a child and thought he was being pranked.
When he figured out he was talking to a little boy, he pretended he was Santa.
More children called, and Shoup instructed airmen to play along.
It’s now a tradition, beloved by kids and the military.
Volunteers range from generals and admirals to enlisted men and women, who sometimes report for telephone duty in military uniform and a Santa hat.
NORAD is a joint US-Canada operation that defends the sky over both nations and monitors sea approaches.
It’s best known for its Cold War-era control room deep inside Cheyenne Mountain — now used only as a backup — and for NORAD Tracks Santa.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS and DAILYMAIL.COM REPORTER