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US First Lady Helps Children Track Santa

Air Force Lt. Col. David Hanson, of Chicago, takes a phone call from a child in Florida at the Santa Tracking Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colorado, December 24, 2010.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama spent some time Saturday answering calls from children across the country who were hoping to find out where Santa Claus was on Christmas Eve.

Just as she did last year, the first lady took calls from the NORAD Tracks Santa program, run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The military base has been telling anxious children about Santa's whereabouts every year since 1955, when a local newspaper advertisement giving a telephone number to speak to Santa mistakenly directed children to a military defense operations center. Officers on duty answered the children's questions and NORAD has been doing the same ever since.

Last year, more than 1,200 volunteers took shifts at NORAD's facility in the western state of Colorado to field more than 80,000 calls and countless emails from children asking where Santa was and when he might be coming to their homes to deliver presents.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.