For as long as most modernized society can remember, reindeer have always been associated with Santa Claus and Christmas. From the eight reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh, to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, reindeer at Christmas time is almost a staple and are often involved in holiday decorating, baking, wrapping, and more. Today, we at Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings would like to take a closer look as to how reindeer even became incorporated in Christmas traditions.
Christmas Songs & Tradition; How Many Reindeer Pull Santa’s Sleigh?
The reindeer, in North America are also known as caribou and are a species of deer that typically live in the northern areas of the continent, mostly concentrated in the Arctic and Subarctic regions. In the 19th century reindeer were introduced to the magic of Christmas, and this is when eight reindeer inherited the ability to fly Santa around on his sleigh on Christmas Eve. Continue to expand in the 20th century, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was added to the circuit of reindeer. But concerning origins of this story actually go further back to ancient Norse mythology and Scandinavian pagan winter festivals.
Dressing Up Thor’s Two War Goats that Pull His Chariot as Reindeer
The reindeer myth of ancient origins believed to have involved from the ancient Norse legend of Thor, the god of thunder. He flew through the sky on a chariot which were pulled by enchanted goats. As time passed, winter festivals in Scandinavia included Thor and offered tribute to these magical creatures by dressing them as part as the winter traditions. The goats eventually evolved into a bringer of gifts with Santa in Sweden in the 18th century. Denmark and Finland would evolve the goats into playing a much more sinister role to motivate, if not frighten, the children into behaving.
Twas the Night Before Christmas Named Santa’s Reindeer; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen
In the 19th century, a poem originally titled “A Visit from St Nicholas” authored by Clement Clarke Moore has become more commonly known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” is a major contributing factor to how the reindeer became known for hanging out with Santa in today’s modern world. Ironically, the iconic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was added to the magic nearly a century later.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Song Recorded by Gene Autry
A Montgomery Ward store employee, by the name of Robert L. May was charged with writing a Christmas story that was intended to be given away to the customer’s children as a marketing promotion. In 1939, Montgomery Ward would distribute over 2 million copies of the Rudolph booklet. Following the conclusion of the war in 1937 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was printed on a commercial level and was popular enough to be included as cartoon shorts later that year. The popularity increased further when Robert May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks wrote a coordinating song after the character and was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949. Narrated by Burl Ives, the TV special was aired in 1964 cementing the story as part of Christmas tradition.
Custom Chainsaw Carved Wooden Reindeer Animals for Sale. Made in Las Vegas, Nevada & Helena, Montana
Now, in modern traditions, we have become so attached to the reindeer, whether you like the eight reindeer team or nine, it would be difficult to imagine Christmas without them. If reindeer are your cup of tea and you like them decorating your interior or exterior with their adorable faces, contact Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings and get your unique reindeer chainsaw carving(s) today!