Where did Santa’s reindeer come from?
Here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, we are well-known by our iconic, blue and yellow horse carriage that sits right in front of the storage facility, but during the holiday season, we also bring out our big blue and yellow sleigh as part of our holiday decorations.
As I watched our customers roll in and out through the security gate, for whatever reason it got me wondering about how reindeer became associated with Santa’s sleigh. I know that in early American life, sleighs were pulled by horses as a means to get around during snowy weather… so where did Santa’s reindeer come from? Well, I did a little research, and here’s what I found out courtesy of KidzWorld.com
Reindeer Fun Facts
Santa’s reindeer made their first official appearance less than 200 years ago in 1823, when Clement C. Moore published the poem “The Night Before Christmas,” where he says that “eight tiny rein-deer” led Santa’s sleigh through the night.
In North America, reindeer are also known as caribou.
Reindeer live in the northernmost parts of the world; they’re native to Arctic regions, as well as northern Europe and Siberia. This facts explains why reindeer were ideal for leading Santa’s sleigh – since he needs animals that can survive at the North Pole!
The name “reindeer” comes from the Norse word “hreinn,” meaning deer.
Both male and female reindeer grow antlers; there’s no way to be sure, but that could mean that Santa’s reindeer were in fact female.
Reindeer are uniquely capable of living in harsh and cold environments. Their noses actually warm the air before they breathe it in, so that their lungs don’t freeze.
The original reindeer were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixem (later known as Donner and Blitzen).
The names Donder and Blitzen translate from German as thunder and lightning.
Some people like to leave carrots for Santa’s reindeer as a special treat on Christmas Eve, but think about leaving moss instead – that’s a real reindeer’s favorite food!
Rudolph Fun Facts
As for the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph, wasn’t an original member of Santa’s reindeer posse. The little red-nosed reindeer didn’t make an appearance in popular culture until 1939, when department store Montgomery Ward hired writer Robert L. May to write a book starring a brand new Christmas character.
Rudolph’s story was adapted into the famous song, still sung today, in 1949.
The much loved stop-motion movie version of Rudolph’s story first aired on December 6, 1964, and has aired countless times each year since then!
To celebrate his 75th birthday, the United States Postal Service issued a set of Rudolph stamps in November 2014
With all these amazing facts, it’s clear Reindeer have a place of significance in Christmas legend. It’s amazing to think how important Rudolph is to the modern North American concept of Christmas, considering that he’s only 76 years old!
We hope you enjoyed our fun reindeer facts and it won’t be long now. Keep an ear to the air and listen for those familiar hoof steps on your roof top. Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, NJ and The Storage Inn II in Ocean City, NJ!!!