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For The Holidays, Google Has NORAD Tracks Santa & Bing Has Magical Holiday Calendar

Google’s teaming up again with NORAD to product one of my favorite Christmas traditions, the NORAD Tracks Santa web site. But new for this year, Bing joins the holiday sweepstakes with a Advent calendar-like Bing Magical Holiday Calendar.

NOTE: If you’re looking for the latest information on Santa tracking for the current year, see our Your Guide To Santa Trackers page.

Where’s Santa? Google & NORAD Know

Let’s start with Santa. Since it’s not Christmas Eve, the site has a countdown until it begins Santa tracking operations for 2011:

The site also has holiday video messages and “Countdown Village,” where kids try to discover which part of the village is busiest:

On Christmas Eve, the real action begins. You’ll be able to track Santa Claus on a map, through your phone and watch videos. Google’s blog post explains more, as does our story from last year. Here’s also highlight from last year:

Bing’s Calendar Of Surprises

Over at Bing, the Bing Magical Holiday Calendar is brand new. Like an Advent calendar, you can “open” one of the many items each day for a suprise:

Currently, selecting the first day plays a video highlighting key events from the year:

The video often swoops back to put the subjects in the context of a search at Bing:

Bing doesn’t have the video up on either its own Bing Originals channel or its YouTube channel, but it’s pretty nice.

The Bing blog post about the calendar says that it’s also offering the chance to win prizes, but I saw nothing like that myself. Perhaps that will be part of future surprises under those numbers.

Bing also has some cute Christmas TV ads running. See our previous post about that:

As for the Google-NORAD Santa Tracker, be sure to return to that on Christmas Eve.  To really understand all you’ll be able to do, see our detailed review from last year:

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