President Trump and first lady Melania Trump took calls from children anxious to find out where Santa is on his gift-giving journey, reports the AP. In one conversation, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Collman, "Are you still a believer in Santa?" He listened for a moment before adding, "Because at 7, it's marginal, right?" Trump listened again and chuckled before saying, "Well, you just enjoy yourself." The president took no shortage of flak on social media for what the New York Times calls "breaking the covenant in which we have all agreed to deceive our children." But he's not technically incorrect, notes the Times: While 85% of 5-year-olds believe in Santa, that number plummets to 25% among 8-year-olds.
The first lady told a caller that Santa was in the Sahara. Several minutes later, she reported that Santa was far away in Morocco but would be at the caller's home on Christmas morning. She later tweeted that helping children track Santa "is becoming one of my favorite traditions!" The NORAD Tracks Santa program wasn't affected by the government shutdown, and is run by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base using pre-approved funding. The Trumps later traveled to Washington National Cathedral to attend the Solemn Holy Eucharist of Christmas Eve. The cathedral's website said the program included readings from Holy Scripture, favorite congregational hymns, seasonal choral and instrumental music, as well as Holy Communion. Trump most likely would have been attending Christmas services at a church near his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., but he scrapped travel plans after the partial government shutdown. (JFK once told a girl he talked to Santa.)