the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Photo & Remarks from the First Lady's Conversations with Children While Tracking Santa with NORAD


Via Telephone

11:06 A.M. HAST

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello?

CHILD:  Hi.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, is this Kileen?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Kileen.  How are you?  This is Michelle Obama.  Are you calling to find out where Santa is? 

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, you’re looking for Santa?  I am at NORAD, where they track Santa, and I’m looking at the computer, and right now, as we speak, Santa and his sleigh are flying over Egypt.  Can you imagine that?  That’s all the way in another part of the world.  But I can see him on the tracker -- I see Santa, and his sleigh, and I see eight tiny reindeer, and I think I see one with a little red nose -- that might be Rudolph.  So I think he’s coming your way, okay?  Are you excited?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  How old are you, Kileen?

CHILD:  I’m six.

MRS. OBAMA:  You’re six?  What’s the number-one gift you asked Santa for this year?

CHILD:  (Inaudible.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  Well, have you been good this year?  Have you been a good girl this year?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  All right, well, I think that Santa is on his way to your house so you better go to sleep because he won’t come until you’ve gone to sleep, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right.  Have a merry Christmas, okay?

CHILD:  You too.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, thanks so much, sweetie.  Bye-bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Sofia and Jessica, it’s Michelle Obama, the First Lady.  I’m helping to track Santa with NORAD.  I’m helping NORAD tonight.  How are you guys doing?

CHILD:  Good, how are you?

MRS. OBAMA:  I’m doing really good -- I’m so excited it’s Christmas Eve and I’m watching Santa on the radar.  How old are you guys?

CHILD:  Eleven.

MRS. OBAMA:  And --

CHILD:  Eleven, and my sister is nine.

MRS. OBAMA:  And nine?  You guys want to know where Santa is right now, as we speak?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  I am looking at the tracker.  I see the screen and he is in Sudan.  He is all the way in Africa, and he’s moving at the speed of light.  He is going so fast and delivering all kinds of gifts all over the world.  Pretty exciting, huh?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes.  Yes, what, sweetie?

CHILD:  Okay, do you know when he is going to come to Boston, Massachusetts?

MRS. OBAMA:  He darts all over the world, and he doesn’t come to your house until you guys are fast asleep, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, so he’s looking -- so he’s going to know when you guys are out and your eyes are closed, and that’s when he’s going to make it to your house, okay?  But right now he’s delivering some gifts to some little kids all the way in Africa, as we speak, because they’re asleep right now, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  So as soon as you close your eyes and go fast asleep, he’s going to come and deliver gifts to your house -- isn’t that exciting?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, so I know you guys have been good girls this year.

CHILD:  Yes.  Merry Christmas to you and President Obama.

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, sweetie.  Merry Christmas to you and your family, too, okay?

CHILD:  Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Have fun tomorrow.

CHILD:  Bye, thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Bye-bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, is this Ella?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Ella.  This is First Lady Michelle Obama.  I’m here today helping the folks out at NORAD track Santa, and is that what you’re calling for?  Are you calling to find out where Santa is?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  Well, I’m looking on the radar screen and I see his sleigh.  I see his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer and he is over Sudan -- South Sudan.  That’s in Africa.  And right now, he’s delivering some gifts.  He’s going down, swooping down to some little kids who are in South Sudan, okay?  That’s where he is right now.  It’s really, really very cool, don’t you think?

CHILD:  When are you coming to Kansas City?  (Laughter.)  When is Santa coming to Kansas City?

MRS. OBAMA:  Santa is going to come to your house, Ella, when you are fast asleep -- that’s how he works.  I think he is in Sudan now because there are some kids over there who are already tucked in bed with their eyes closed.  So he is going to come to your house as soon as you’re asleep.  Are you getting ready for bed any time soon?

Ella, I think that if you go to bed right now and you shut your eyes, and you go to sleep, he might just show up at your house now, okay?  Because he can go anywhere in the world at the speed of light.

CHILD:  Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, well, have a good night’s sleep and merry Christmas to you and your whole family, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.  Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, bye-bye.  Thanks for calling.  Merry Christmas to you guys. 

CHILD:  Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA:  Thanks so much, you guys.  Enjoy your holiday.  Bye-bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, this is First Lady Michelle Obama.  I hear that Wyatt and Alex are on the phone looking for Santa.

CHILD:  Hi.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, is this Wyatt?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  How are you, Wyatt?

CHILD:  I’m good.

MRS. OBAMA:  You’re good?  How old are you?

CHILD:  Nine.

MRS. OBAMA:  You’re nine?  Is Alex there, too?  Are you excited, Wyatt?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  What do you want for Christmas?

CHILD:  A Zoomer.

MRS. OBAMA:  A Zoomer?  That sounds exciting, that sounds fun.  Well, I’m here at NORAD, and I’m helping them track Santa.  And I’m looking on their radar screen and right now, Santa is headed to the Republic of Rwanda -- that’s in Africa, that’s all the way in Africa.  Right now, he is delivering toys to some little girls and boys all the way in Africa.  Can you believe that?

CHILD:  No.

MRS. OBAMA:  He is flying so fast -- at the speed of light -- and from the satellite radar tracker, I can actually see his sleigh and I think I can make out two, four, six -- eight tiny reindeer and there’s -- oh, they just turned, and there’s one leading the way with a red nose.  It’s flashing.  They just turned.  They made a sharp turn.  I think that’s Rudolph that’s leading the sleigh.  Really exciting, don’t you think?

CHILD:  Yes.  What I want for Christmas is the Transformer -- whose name is Metroplex.

MRS. OBAMA:  That sounds good.  If you guys have been good this year, I know that Santa is going to come and deliver some great toys.  But you know what -- you have to be fast asleep before he comes to your house in South Carolina, okay, because Santa only comes when you guys are fast asleep.

CHILD:  My cousin said we were going to sleep at eight.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, that sounds good.  That sounds like a really good bedtime.  All right, well, you guys have a merry, merry Christmas, okay?

CHILD:  Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, you guys give your whole family my best, okay?

CHILD:  All right, thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, take care.  Bye-bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, is this Daisy?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Daisy.  It’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  I’m here at NORAD, and I’m helping them track Santa tonight -- is that why you’re calling?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  How old are you, Daisy?

CHILD:  Five.

MRS. OBAMA:  You are five?  What a big girl!  Oh my goodness.  Well, let me look on the radar screen and -- oh my goodness -- I see his sleigh.  And I can make out a little man with a little white beard, and there are eight reindeer.  And one in the front, I think it’s Rudolph.  You know where they are right now?  They’re in a place called Burundi, all the way on the other side of the world in Africa.  Can you imagine?

CHILD:  Uh-uh.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, I think there are some little kids there in that country that are fast asleep now, and he’s dropping off lots of presents.  Right now, he has delivered over 3 million presents -- already.  Can you imagine that?  How much work it takes?

CHILD:  Three billion?

MRS. OBAMA:  Hm?

CHILD:  Three billion?

MRS. OBAMA:  Right now it’s 3 million -- yes, it’s 3 million.  He’ll probably get to 3 billion before the night is out, but right now, he has delivered 3 million.  He still has a lot of work to do.  He has got to get all the way to your house tonight, right?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  But he’s not going to come until you’re fast asleep, okay, sweetie?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  So make sure you go to sleep, close your eyes, get a good night’s sleep, and as soon as you’re fast asleep, Santa is going to know and he’s going to turn his sleigh around and he’s going to come right to you, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right.  Be a good girl, all right?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  And have a merry, merry Christmas, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, thanks for calling, sweetie.

CHILD:  You’re welcome.

MRS. OBAMA:  Bye-bye.

CHILD:  Bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, is this Anthony?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Anthony, it’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  I’m here at NORAD.  I’m helping them track Santa tonight.  It’s one of my most favorite things I get to do on Christmas Eve.  Is that why you’re calling?  You’re trying to find out where Santa is right now?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Right now I’m looking at the radar screen and he is flying over a country called Burundi, which is in Africa.  Right now I see his sleigh and you could make out these little hooves like feet moving and it looks like his reindeer are pulling him.  He’s moving so fast.  But the NORAD tracker can track him.  So he is in Africa right now because there are some boys and girls that are fast asleep there in that country, and he is dropping off toys.  And I think he is going to come to your house, Anthony, as soon as you go to sleep.  What time are you going to go to bed tonight?

CHILD:  Eight-thirty.

MRS. OBAMA:  Eight-thirty?  That sounds like a great bedtime.  Do you know what you want for Christmas this year?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  What’s your number-one toy?

CHILD:  (Inaudible.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  That’s exciting.  I think if you get to bed and you shut your eyes, Santa is going to be there as soon as he knows you’ve fallen asleep, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, well, you’re going to have a merry Christmas tomorrow, right?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  Be a good boy.  You sound like a really smart kid so have a great Christmas, okay?

CHILD:  Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, merry Christmas, sweetie.  Goodnight.

CHILD:  Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  Bye-bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Kailean, it’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  How are you doing?

CHILD:  Good.

MRS. OBAMA:  I’m at NORAD tonight and I’m helping them track Santa.  And I’m manning the phones, I’ve talked to a lot of boys and girls tonight who are looking to find out where Santa is -- is that why you’re calling?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  So right now, I’m looking at the radar screen and I see -- I see his sleigh.  I can make out his sleigh, and I can make out reindeer.  And I see eight reindeer and one in the front -- who do you think that one is?

CHILD:  Rudolph.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes -- his nose, you can see his nose flashing right now.  He is flying over the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- do you know where that is?

CHILD:  No.

MRS. OBAMA:  That’s all the way in Africa.  Right now, he is flying over Africa, and I think he’s there because there are some boys and girls that are fast asleep right now.  And you know Santa only comes when you’re fast asleep, right?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes.  So as soon as you go to sleep, sweetie, as soon as you shut your eyes and Santa knows that you’re fast asleep, that’s when he’s going to come to your house, okay?

CHILD:  I have a question.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, sweetie, what is that?

CHILD:  When is he going to come to Virginia?

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, he comes all over the country at different times, all over the world at different times, and it depends on when kids are asleep.  So I think first he is going to figure out whether you’re fast asleep and when most of the kids where you live in Virginia are fast asleep.  So what time do you think you’re going to bed?

CHILD:  About nine.

MRS. OBAMA:  About nine?  And I’ve talked to a couple of other kids in Virginia that are going to bed at about 8:30, 9 o’clock, so if a lot of kids in Virginia are starting to go to bed right around then, that’s when he is going to come, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, are you excited?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, me too.  I love Christmas.

CHILD:  Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, merry Christmas, sweetie, and the best to your whole family, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, bye-bye.

CHILD:  Bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, is Marcus there?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Marcus, it’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  How are you?

CHILD:  Good.

MRS. OBAMA:  I’m here at NORAD tonight.  Every Christmas Eve, I help them track Santa.  And I’ve been taking calls from boys and girls all over the country -- is that why you’re calling, to find out where Santa is?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  I’m looking at the radar screen right now, and I see Santa.  He is headed -- in one minute, he is going to be flying over Zambia.  And that’s a country in Africa.  Right now, he’s been spending a lot of time in Africa.  From the calls I’ve been getting where he’s traveling -- he has spent a lot of time in Africa because a lot of the kids in that part of the world are fast asleep.  Isn’t that exciting?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  How old are you, Marcus?

CHILD:  Five.

MRS. OBAMA:  You’re five?  Wow, you sound like a big boy.  What do you want for Christmas this year?

CHILD:  (Inaudible.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  Have you been good? 

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  I bet you have.  I can tell -- you sound like you’re a good boy.  Well, as soon as you go to sleep -- what time do you think you’re going to go to bed tonight?

CHILD:  About nine -- or earlier.

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, the earlier you go to bed, the quicker Santa gets there, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  I told you there are a bunch of kids right in your area that have told me they’re going to go to bed about 8:30 or 9 o’clock.  So if you get to bed at that time, that’s probably when Santa is going to try to come -- when all the kids in that area are starting to go to sleep.  Okay?

CHILD:  Cool.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, you have a merry Christmas.  It’s exciting, isn’t it?

CHILD:  Yes, you too.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, thanks, sweetie.  Wish your whole family a merry Christmas for me, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, bye-bye.

CHILD:  Goodnight.

MRS. OBAMA:  Goodnight.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, is this Caitlin?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Caitlin, it’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  How are you?

CHILD:  Good.

MRS. OBAMA:  I’m here at NORAD.  I spend every Christmas Eve helping them track Santa.  Is that why you’re calling?  You’re calling to find out where Santa is?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, let me look on the radar screen.  Right now, I’m looking -- I’ve spotted him again.  I can see him, I can see him with his sleigh, and I can make out some little hooves moving -- I think that’s the reindeer.  I see eight reindeer and one leading the way -- do you know who that could be?

CHILD:  Rudolph.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, it’s Rudolph, he’s got Rudolph tonight leading the way.  And right now, he is headed -- he is in Africa, can you believe that?  He is over a country called Zimbabwe right now, right as we speak.  He’s dropping off toys for some boys and girls in Zimbabwe all the way in Africa.  And a lot of the boys and girls there have already gone fast asleep, that’s why he is in that part of the world right now.  So what time do you think you’re going to go to bed tonight, Caitlin?

CHILD:  Eight.

MRS. OBAMA:  At eight?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  That sounds like a great bedtime, because you know what, I’ve talked to a lot of boys and girls tonight in your part of the world and they’re planning on going to bed right at that time, too.  So I think as soon as all of you guys are fast asleep, that’s when Santa is going to shoot over and he is going to deliver some gifts.  Right now, he has already delivered more than 3 million gifts already tonight.  Can you believe that?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, and he is going to keep going.  He is delivering them really fast.  Have you been a good girl this year?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  I know you have.  So you get to bed, all right, get a good night’s sleep, close your eyes, and as soon as you do, Santa is going to come your way, okay?

CHILD:  I will.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  You have a great Christmas, okay?  And wish your whole family a merry Christmas for me, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.  Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Have fun tomorrow, okay, sweetie?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  Bye-bye.

CHILD:  Bye-bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Cal.  It’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  How are you?

CHILD:  Good.

MRS. OBAMA:  I’m here at NORAD because I’m helping them track Santa.  Is that why you’re calling?  You wanted to call to find out where Santa is right now?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Right now, I’m looking at the radar screen -- (gasps) -- oh my goodness, I can see his sleigh.  I see Santa in his sleigh.  I see eight tiny reindeer, and I see one leading the way.  Do you know who that one is?

CHILD:  Santa!

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, that’s Santa, and he’s got Rudolph with him.

CHILD:  Rudolph!

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, he’s got Rudolph and right now he is in Africa.  He’s flying over a country called Botswana.  Do you know why he is in Africa right now?

CHILD:  Why?

MRS. OBAMA:  Because there are a lot of little boys and girls there who have already gone to bed.  And Santa doesn’t come until you’re fast asleep, okay?  What time do you think you’re going to go to bed tonight, Cal?

CHILD:  Nine o’clock.

MRS. OBAMA:  Nine o’clock?  You know what -- nine o’clock?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  That sounds like a perfect time, do you know why?  Because I’ve talked to a lot of little boys and girls who live right in your area, and they’re planning to go to bed at the same time.  So as soon as a lot of kids of Wisconsin, in your part of the world, have started to go to sleep, that’s when Santa is going to shoot over.  And he is going to drop off toys at the houses in your part of the world.  So the sooner you go to bed, the sooner you go fast asleep, the sooner Santa will come and deliver toys, okay?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay.  Well, you have a merry Christmas, all right, Cal?

CHILD:  Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, tell your whole family merry Christmas for me, okay?

CHILD:  Merry Christmas.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, thank you, sweetheart.  You sound like a sweet kid.  Have fun tomorrow, okay?

CHILD:  Thank you.

MRS. OBAMA:  Okay, bye-bye.

CHILD:  Bye.

***

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Hello, is Anderson there?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Hi, Anderson, it’s First Lady Michelle Obama.  I’m here at NORAD.  Every Christmas Eve, I help them track Santa.  Is that why you’re calling?

CHILD:  Yes?

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, I’m going to take a look at the radar screen and -- oh my goodness, I can see him.  He’s moving fast.  Right now, Santa is flying over Africa, and he’s flying over Johannesburg, South Africa.  Right now, he has just reached South Africa, the southern part of Africa.  Can you believe that?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  How old are you, Anderson?

CHILD:  Six.

MRS. OBAMA:  What do you want for Christmas from Santa?

CHILD:  A bicycle.

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes?  That sounds pretty cool.  Tell me, Anderson, where do you live?

CHILD:  Uh --

MRS. OBAMA:  You’re in Pennsylvania?

CHILD:  Yes.

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, guess what, Anderson.  I’ve talked to about five or six other kids who live in Pennsylvania, and they plan on going to bed at about 8:30 or 9 o’clock.  What time are you going to go to bed?

CHILD:  Nine.

MRS. OBAMA:  Nine?  That sounds like a great time because I think as soon as you go to bed, there are all the kids in your part of the country that are going to go to bed and that’s when Santa is going to shoot over and deliver toys to you guys -- as soon as he knows you’re fast asleep, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  All right, well, you have a good night’s sleep, okay, sweetie?

CHILD:  Okay.

MRS. OBAMA:  Merry Christmas, okay?  You all have a very merry Christmas, okay?

CHILD:  Okay.  Bye.

MRS. OBAMA:  Bye-bye.

END
11:36 A.M. HAST

*** Photo available here: http://bit.ly/1gVaGu6 ***