Here is an excerpt from the 'winter' section of my soon-to-be published volume two of FUN THROUGH THE SEASONS Recipes, Crafts and Fun Facts for Kids.
NORAD tracks Santa.
In December 1955, a Sears’ ad printed the phone number of a Colorado Springs store so children could tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. The phone number was a misprint and children ended up calling the red phone of the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD. Colonel Harry Shoup answered the phone and a small voice on the other end asked, “Is this Santa Clause?” He thought it was a joke, until the child started crying. The children kept calling, so he assigned airmen to answer the calls and act like Santa. On Christmas Eve, when the colonel walked into the room, there was a drawing of a sleigh with eight reindeer coming over the North Pole. The colonel looked at it for a while, and next thing you know, he called the radio station and said, “This is the commander at the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object. Why, it looks like a sleigh.”
THE ASTRONAUTS track Santa.
On December 16, 1965 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra on Gemini 6 sent the following message to Mission Control and children around the world. “We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south; probably in polar orbit . . . I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot is wearing a red suit. The astronauts then proceeded to sing “Jingle Bells,” accompanied with a harmonica and bells, which they secretly smuggled aboard.
CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE tracks Santa.
He announced Santa’s arrival to his children in his 1822 poem titled, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” He saw a little old driver so lively and quick. He said, “It must be Saint Nick.”
CHILDREN track Santa.
Come Christmas Eve, bake a batch of cookies and place them beneath the Christmas tree with a glass of milk. After midnight, sneak a peek and you might have a Santa sighting of your own.
1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1 ½ t peppermint flavoring
2 cups self-rising flour
2 T milk
Red and green colored sugar
Mix sugar, butter, egg and flavoring in large bowl until well blended.
Alternately add flour and milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Dough will be crumbly. Work with it and shape dough into one-inch balls.
Roll in red or green colored sugar.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes until cookie is set. Remove from oven and cool two to three minutes. Place a Junior Mint into center of cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes three to four dozen.
These colorful cookies are sure to delight Santa on Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.