Reindeer are a popular symbol at Christmas, but did you know that it is mostly in America that reindeers are known for pulling Santa's sleigh? Many historians believe that the reindeer/sleigh image was influenced by Norse mythology and more specifically the God of Thunder, Thor.
Norse legend tells that Thor was flown across they skies by magical goats (named Nasher and Cracker). Scandinavians would dress in costumes and re-enact Thor's travels, similar to people dressing in reindeer antlers today.
Later in America, Clement Clark Moore wrote the 1822 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" which was a popular version formalizing Santa and his reindeer. Because Santa was believed to live at the North Pole, it was fitting that reindeer would be his method of transportation.
Reindeers were adopted into the Christmas mythology with cult favorites such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, written in 1939 and the song recorded in 1949 by Gene Autry. Other popular songs such as "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" recorded by Elmo and Patsy became mainstream as well.
Day 16 Advent Journal 12.16.11
List the many names of reindeer in your journal. You can allude to poems, movies, books or stories!