We all know it began with a fat jolly man named Santa Claus who married a lovely woman who became Mrs. Santa Claus and they moved to the North Pole. After they settled down and Santa began the toy making business he also hired eight reindeer to pull his sleigh. The reindeer were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Blitzen, and Donner. The story about them all has been around since 1823 when “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was written by Clement Moore.
Then in 1939, the Montgomery Ward Department Store execs decided they needed another character for the free coloring books that Santa was giving out to children. They chose to make it Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and he was an instant hit with children.
Afterward, a copywriter named Robert May was asked to come up with a story for the reindeer in the coloring book. He had not been given his name yet I just mentioned it because we all know who he was. Finally, Rudolph was created officially but his story was told differently.
While Santa was delivering presents to the reindeer village he finds Rudolph. Santa always had a hard time delivering the presents because no one remembered to leave a light on for him in their houses. When he tripped and fell in Rudolph’s house, the reindeer appeared with his nose glowing. So Santa asked him to help him deliver the rest of the presents. Rudolph left a note for his parents and went to help Santa.
It was lucky that Rudolph was given a glowing nose because at first, the creator was thinking of giving him eyes that shown like headlights and I think that would be frightening for children. Finally, he chose a red nose and large eyes.
In Finland, the Finnish children know Rudolph as Petteri. The Santa Claus legend there also has a song but the song mentions fairy tale characters such as Cinderella and Snow White among others and ends with but this reindeer if often forgotten. Kind of strange but each country has their own versions I suppose.
You will never believe this but according to the BBC who developed three cartoons based on Rudolph, he had a son named Robbie.
It was a decade later after Rudolph had been created when May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks wrote the lyrics to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and country singer Gene Autry recorded it. As a result over 150 million copies of the song were sold and it has become the second-best-selling Christmas song.