Rudolph may be the most known of Santa’s helpers, but he is not the only reindeer who helps Santa bring gifts to little boys and girls around the world. In fact, Rudolph was actually created after the other reindeers already became popular in Christmas folklore.
In 1939, he came to life after 34-year-old copywriter Robert L. May created him for a booklet for shoppers of the Montgomery Ward stores. By 1946, 6 million booklets about Rudolph and his red nose were distributed.
Rudolph's story became a popular children’s tale, due to his overcoming adversity for having a red nose and being teased by other reindeers. His nose ended up being one of his greatest assets, though, when he came to Santa’s rescue on Christmas Eve. His red nose was used as a lantern so Santa could make it to every home and ensure all children had their gifts Christmas morning. Rudolph learned to respect of the other reindeers while taking charge and leading them during the terrible winter weather.
However, eight reindeers were created before Rudolph. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen are the commonly cited names of the other reindeers, and those reindeers are based on the reindeers named in the famous 1823 poem “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas,” attributed to Clement C. Moore. The names of Donder and Blitzen derive from Germanic words for thunder and lightning, respectively. Before Rudolph was included, Dasher was the first reindeer and the right-hand leader of the sleigh.
Details about the reindeers:
Dasher is the fastest reindeer and is always the winner at the reindeer games.
Dancer is Santa's prettiest reindeer, but she does not know it. Dancer spends most of her time looking at her reflection in the frozen pond.
Prancer is always aiming to please and is very strong.
Vixen loves playing tricks, even on Santa Claus himself! Vixen is also very funny and makes the others laugh a lot.
Comet is a very serious reindeer and likes peace and quiet. On his nights off, Comet enjoys looking at the stars.
Cupid is very shy, and the mother of Donder and Blitzen.
Donder thinks he should be classed the fastest reindeer, so he is always challenging Dasher to races.
Blitzen is the peace-maker, as she hates fights and is very good at helping the others to make up after an argument.
Who is your favorite reindeer?