One of the most vital important government services that relates to Christmas (at least for children) will continue despite the partial government shutdown.
NORAD's Santa tracker will be fully staffed with more than 1,500 military personnel and volunteers who are running the program from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. The program is funded through the Department of Defense's budget that was approved earlier this year, the Associated Press reported. The agency will be tracking Santa Claus and answering calls from children, just as it has for 63 years.
In the event of a government shutdown, NORAD will continue with its 63-year tradition of NORAD Tracks Santa on Dec. 24. Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year. pic.twitter.com/fY0oyjrdDc
— NORAD & USNORTHCOM (@Norad_Northcom) December 21, 2018
Volunteers typically field tens of thousands of calls and emails from around the world, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Children often ask for Santa's location or discuss their Christmas wish lists. NORAD is a
How many kids follow it?
Volunteers said they enjoy seeing the holiday through the eyes of children, the Associated Press noted.
"They're all really sweet, small voices," Madison Hill, a volunteer who helped answer phones for two previous years, told the news outlet.
"I had a little girl tell me good night instead of goodbye," she added. "It's really sweet."
Many TV stations also air videos of NORAD's Santa tracker during their newscasts.
The Scout Elves are checking in with @NoradSanta to make sure all systems are ready for #ChristmasEve! See inside the Scout Elf Command Center on this page on 12/24 at 5 p.m. EST! pic.twitter.com/wvktxjHOPI
— The Elf on the Shelf (@elfontheshelf) December 23, 2018
What about the post office?
On another Christmas-related matter, the U.S. Postal Service is also continue to process packages with just one full business day to go until Christmas,
according to published reports.
In a tweet on Saturday, the postal service said it also would not be impacted by the government shutdown.
"All Post Offices will remain open for business. Because we are an independent entity that is funded through the sale of our products & services, and not by tax dollars, our services will not be impacted by a gov't shutdown," the postal service tweeted.
USPS will not be interrupted during the gov't shutdown. All Post Offices will remain open for business. Because we are an independent entity that is funded through the sale of our products & services, and not by tax dollars, our services will not be impacted by a gov't shutdown. pic.twitter.com/s8asXt9pgc
— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) December 22, 2018
The government shutdown is hinging largely on a disagreement over how the U.S. should proceed to secure its border along Mexico.