Reindeer Tales

Rudolph and his shiny red nose may be the most famous among all of Santa’s reindeer, but did you know that he was not part of the original group that pulled Santa’s sleigh?

According to stories, Santa’s reindeer were given a magic corn which possessed the power of flight. The extraordinary enchantment of the corn gave the reindeer increased stamina, allowing them to travel through the air using their hooves.

The reindeer’s names were taken from the classic Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas:

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:

"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,

"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;

While Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen are famous almost all over the world, various stories envelop the names of the last two reindeer, Dunder and Blixem.

If the 1949 song Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was to be followed, the last two reindeer’s names are Donner and Blitzen. However, the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas calls the two reindeer Donder and Blitzen. On the other hand, if you would examine the poem’s original copy, Dunder and Blixem were the reindeer’s names, which mean “thunder and lightning” in Dutch. This poem was further edited by Clement Mark Moore in his 1844 book of verse, giving the name Donder and Blitzen to the two controversial reindeer. These became the standard names of Santa’s two flying reindeer.

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