POLL: Should Santa Be Linked With the Military?

Group claims the Pentagon is "completely out of line" for showing Santa being escorted by fighter jets on the Santa tracker website.

Screenshot from NORAD Tracks Santa Trailer 2013.
Screenshot from NORAD Tracks Santa Trailer 2013.
By Patch Editor Kristi Reed

A popular holiday website is taking flak for showing Santa Claus with a military escort.

The NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Tracks Santa website has added animation showing Santa and his sleigh being escorted by fighter jets.

“Children associate Santa with gifts and fun and everything else that is positive about Christmas,” Allen Kanner, a California child and family psychologist and cofounder of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, told the Boston Globe. “They are associating this with the military in children’s minds. It is completely out of line.”

NORAD Tracks Santa has been in operation since 1955. According to their website: "For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight. The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations 'hotline.' The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born."

The military defends the depiction of fighter jets and military command on the website and in its videos.

"We wanted to let folks know that, hey, this is a NORAD video, and we're the military and this is our mission," Navy Captain Jeff Davis said according to a Fox News article.  

Do you see anything wrong with linking Santa to the military? Is NORAD "out of line" for including fighter jets in its video? Let us know in the comments below or vote in our poll. Note: This is not a scientific poll. It is for entertainment purposes only.


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