Every Christmas I got new Barbie: US First Lady
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 25, 2012, 14:40
  
Washington: When she was a child, she loved Barbie dolls and used to receive one every Christmas, US First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday American children during a conference call with them when she helped them track Santa.

"When I was little. I loved Barbie dolls. I was a big Barbie doll kid, and every Christmas I got a new Barbie. One year I got the Barbie townhouse and the camper. It was very exciting. I liked everything Barbie," Michelle Obama said.

During a 30 minutes interaction with children over phone on Christmas eve the First Lady was responding to a question on what was her favourite present when she was little.

Michelle, from Hawaii - where she is on family vacation with President Barack Obama, responded to telephone calls from children from across the nation who wanted to know Santa's whereabouts.

"Well, I'm looking at the computer now," she told one Fischer from North Carolina. "There is a satellite that tracks him and it says that he was last spotted in Libya, which is all the way near Africa, in the Middle East. But he's headed for -- he's going to be in Libya for another five or so seconds, and then he's moving on," she said.

"You know how many gifts he's delivered already?" she asked. Fischer said "no". "More than three billion gifts he’s already delivered," the First Lady replied.

Michelle located Santa as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa programme run by the North American Aerospace Defence Command. The programme began in 1955 after a phone call was made to the Continental Air Defence Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The call was from a local youngster who dialled a misprinted number in a local newspaper advertisement. The commander on duty who answered the phone that night gave the youngster the information requested - the whereabouts of Santa.

This began the tradition of tracking Santa, a tradition that was carried on by NORAD when it was formed in 1958. The programme has grown immensely since first presented on the Internet in 1998.

The website receives millions of unique visitors from hundreds of countries and territories around the world.

In addition, a live Operations Center is occupied for 25 hours with more than 1,200 volunteers each year who receive hundreds of thousands of phone calls and emails from families around the world.

To most of the children, the First lady told them to go to bed early. "Don't stay up too late so that Santa will make it to your house," she said.

One of the child asked her what was her favourite song.

"My favourite Christmas song? That's a good question, Abby. I like 'Jingle Bells', because everybody can sing 'Jingle Bells'," she said.

According to the NORAD tracking programme, Santa visited Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi in India.

It also visited Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan and Dhaka in Bangladesh. By mid-night New York Time, Santa had delivered more than 5.3 billion gifts globally.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, December 25, 2012, 14:20


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