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History of Santa's Reindeer

Surprising Reindeer Facts!

There are a lot of stories about Santa's reindeer.

The Wizard of Oz author, L. Frank Baum, named 10 reindeer of his own in his 1902 children's book, "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus." Their names: Flossie and Glossie, Racer and Pacer, Fearless and Peerless, Ready and Steady, Feckless and Speckless.

Here at the North Pole, we much prefer the classic names.

These popular names are, of course, those of the "Eight Tiny Reindeer..." : Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. The famous eight were created way back in 1823 by poet Clement Clarke Moore, who wrote the beloved "Night Before Christmas".

Yes, Santa and I like those traditional names the best. (The elves are more partial to nicknames that are often rather silly. We let them have their fun.)

Rudolph Joins Our Team

And we mustn't forget Rudolph with his bright shiny nose! Where did he come from?

The "official" story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by Robert May in 1939 for department store Montgomery Wards who wanted a cheery coloring book Christmas story to give away to their shoppers.

Robert May's storybook was a hit with shoppers - that year they gave out 2.4 million copies! We love Robert May's delightful addition to our team. He's certainly saved us on a few foggy nights!

Three Things to Know About Reindeer

  • Reindeer hooves are soft during warmer months, but in the winter, their hooves become hard and sharp for breaking through the ice to forage vegetation. I mix up magic flying feed for Santa's reindeer, so they don't have to forage. We take very good care of our flying team!
  • Reindeer have two layers of hair: a dense undercoat, and a top layer of hollow hair. The air-filled hairs float like a cork, which is useful for Some populations travel up to 3,000 miles and swim long distances along the way. People have even used reindeer hair to fill life jackets! That warm coat keeps them warm at the North Pole but of course, Santa's reindeer fly, so migrating isn't an issue for them.
  • How do Santa's reindeer fly? It's a secret... but I'll tell you anyway. Shhhhh... it's Magic Dust, mixed in with their daily feed. They fly so fast that no one has ever been able to measure their actual speed!

Reindeer's Favorite Snack

When you leave cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve, why don't you leave a few carrot sticks for the reindeer as well? It's their favorite snack!

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