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What would Santa do without his Elves and Reindeer?

Christmas Facts & Legends

Life would be pretty hard for Santa without his Elves and Reindeer.  Who would make the toys and pack up his sled on Christmas Eve?  After his bag is packed, who would carry him over the rooftops to deliver all the presents to all the good little children of the world?  His Elves and Reindeer, of course! Somehow, with all the excitement over Santa, the Elves and Reindeer sometimes get overlooked.  I don't know how that could be, as the Reindeer accompanied Santa from the very beginning, followed by the Elves.   

Santa's Reindeer actually appeared in print before the Elves.  The team of flying reindeer that pull the sleigh of Santa and help him deliver Christmas presents are based on the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas, or "The Night Before Christmas".  The cited names are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donnor, and Blitzen. 

The Christmas Elf first appeared in publication around 1873, when the magazine "Godey's Lady's Book" illustrated Elves on the front cover.  The Christmas issue showed Santa surrounded by toys and Elves with the caption, "Here we have an idea of the preparations that are made to supply the young folks with toys at Christmas time."

Godey's Lady's Book was a United States magazine published in Philadelphia.  It was popular in the period before the Civil War.  In the 1860s Godey's considered itself the "queen of monthlies". They were very influential in establishing many Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree in 1850.

Image above: Santa Claus arrives, accompanied by his elves, on his sleigh pulled by reindeer at the climax of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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