Reindeer Games

“Now, Dasher!” “Now, Dancer!” “Now, Prancer and Vixen!” “On, Comet!” “On, Cupid!” “On, Donner and Blitzen!”

As Christmas legends have it, Santa Claus is guided around the world each year on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. Santa gets credit for delivering toys to all the children and the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph gets credit for guiding the way. But what about all the other reindeer? We know Rudolph, while powerful, isn’t single handily pulling Santa and a sleigh full of toys through the night sky. There are eight others behind Rudolph doing their part to pull the sleigh and they too deserve some recognition. Afterall, they were the original eight.

The 1823 poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” ( first introduced us to Santa’s team. It was this poem that first gave the reindeer their names. Today that poem is better known as “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas.”

Rudolph was a bit delayed joining the team of eight. It was a 1939 storybook titled, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that first introduced us to the reindeer with the glowing nose. It was this book that gave Rudolph the rise to fame when credited with saving Christmas. As a result, the red-nosed reindeer became a permanent member of Santa’s team. And so, there were nine.

If you aren’t familiar, let me introduce you to the team responsible for pulling Santa’s sleigh.

Dasher – The fastest of them all. The one who’s always ready for a race. The name, “Dasher” originally came from a German name, “Dascher,” meaning “purse-maker.” Guess that means Dasher enjoys sewing in addition to running!

Dancer – The liveliest with a unique personality. A complete extrovert who likes all kinds of dance.

Prancer – The friendliest and most willing to help the others but tends to be a bit vain. Enjoys prancing and staring in the mirror.

Vixen – The one with all the magic tricks. This ones’ tricky and often annoys the others by making things disappear.

Comet – The wise one who’s easy-going and good with kids. Everyone loves Comet!

Cupid – The most affectionate and believes love conquers all. Enjoys Valentine’s Day almost as much as Christmas.

Donner – The loud one that enjoys singing. The name itself means “thunder” in German. Enjoys all the others but prefers games with Blitzen the most. Together they are dynamic!

Blitzen – This one is fast as a bolt and can electrify others when Santa calls. The name itself means “lightning” in German.

Rudolph – The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Suffered from low self-esteem because of a glowing nose until it was used as a beacon of light to save Christmas.  Now this one is Santa’s favorite!

For more about the reindeer and their personalities, visit:

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