The Reindeer Revue
“Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus!”
Yes, December is here and the storage staff and storage customers here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, are getting into the Christmas spirit!
Earlier today, one of our storage space tenants, Derek, stopped into the storage rental office to retrieve holiday decorations and pick up storage supplies including cardboard boxes and tape.
We got to chatting and it turns out that both of our granddaughters go to the same school, and they’re playing reindeer in the same holiday play! My granddaughter Madison is Vixen, and Derek’s grandaughter is Rudolph. We joked about how his granddaughter had the more famous part and agreed to see each other there.
Our conversation made me wonder, “why reindeer?” – “why not horses?”, so I decided to check it out…
Reindeer are a well-known part of Christmas lore, but you might not be aware that their part of the Christmas tradition is less than 200 years old. Here are some fun facts about reindeer and their role in Christmas legend!
Reindeer Fun Facts
In North America, reindeer are known as caribou.
Reindeer live in the northernmost parts of the world like the Arctic, Northern Europe and Siberia. This explains why reindeer lead Santa’s sleigh – he needed animals that could live 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 good at surviving in harsh and cold environments. Their noses actually warm the air before they breathe it in, so that their lungs don’t freeze.
Santa’s reindeer made their first official appearance in 1823 in Clement C. Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas,” where he introduced the “eight tiny reindeer” that lead Santa’s sleigh through the night.
The original reindeer were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixen (later known as Donner and Blitzen). The names Dunder and Blixen translate from German as thunder and lightning.
Some people leave carrots for Santa’s reindeer as a special treat on Christmas Eve, but you might want to think about leaving moss instead – that’s a real reindeers favorite food!
Originally, Santa only had 8 reindeer until…..
Rudolph is a newbie!
Rudolph wasn’t an original member of Santa’s reindeer team – 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.
In 1949, Rudolph’s story was adapted into the famous song, originally recorded by singing cowboy, Gene Autry.
The beloved, 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.
Reindeer clearly have a lot 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!
As for me, all of this talk about Santa and his Reindeer has made me hungry for some warm Christmas cookies and a nice glass of milk!
Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!