Santa’s magical sleigh consists of 12 deer, the most popular of which is Rudolph. However, we all know that the whole story about Santa coming into houses through their chimneys isn’t factual. So, what about the favorite reindeer, Rudolph? Is its story based on a real reindeer or just a fiber of imagination? This article will answer these questions.
The origin of the red-nosed deer
In 1939, Robert May, a Jewish copywriter, was tasked with creating coloring books for his company. The specific instruction about the book was for him to make it about an animal.
That same year, his wife died of cancer, leaving him with their young daughter, Barbara. Robert wrote the book instead of retiring. Considering his daughter’s love for the deer at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Robert made Rudolph the main character in his book.
A wider reach of the famous deer’s story
When Robert’s book was published in 1939, Johnny Marks married Robert’s sister. Marks was a decorated World War II veteran who studied music. Interestingly, Johnny had been making notes on Robert’s fictional deer, Rudolph.
Johnny released the song “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” further popularizing the reindeer story. The song became the second-best-selling Christmas song of all time. Also, the deer’s story became world-renowned.
Putting a face to the name
From Robert’s story to Johnny’s song, Rudolph remained a fictional character whose physical features were only imagined. However 1964, a stop-motion film of the same name was released.
Since its release, the movie has been broadcast every year, becoming the longest-running Christmas TV special. Due to the love many people have for Rudolph, this movie hasn’t reduced in popularity.
What the red-nosed deer stands for
Just like other Christmas traditions, the red-nosed deer has been depicted in different ways. However, the bottom line is that Rudolph is Santa’s favorite deer. So, what does the deer signify?
Today, Rudolph, the red-nosed deer, signifies the coming of Santa– when you see the deer, you’ll see Santa. The deer also signifies the happiness and excitement that comes with the festive period.
So, is Rudolph a real reindeer?
Rudolph never existed as a real reindeer. It is a fictional character created by Robert May. In the same vein, the other 11 reindeer that ‘transport’ Santa on Christmas Eve are also fictional.
However, this doesn’t displace the fame of the many Santa stories that we’ve heard since we were young. Being fictional creations, these Christmas characters are often depicted in movies and shows.