What fascinates most especially the kids on Christmas Eve? It is Santa, they wait anxiously for his Sledge guided by reindeer with the gift of toys for them.
Have you ever asked kids to name Santa’s reindeer? If yes, then you would observe, the majority know little about their names. For this reason, I decided to write a comprehensive article to let you know about Santa’s reindeer names.
Traditionally these reindeers are evolved fictionally. There were eight reindeers namely Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen to guide the Santa team. Rudolph the reindeer was a late creation but got fame early. Now in total, they are ten reindeers with the addition of Rudolph and Olive.
Each reindeer has a distinctive personality. Santa loves them all. They are helpful as well as skillful. Let’s know more about how they originated and what made them popular.
Table of Contents
The idea of Santa reindeers is not very old. Around the early eighties, they appeared in literary works. By the mid of eighteenth century, they established their appearance as eight reindeers namely Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen. Rudolph came late and got fame early.
Let’s have a look at their history;
In the early eighties, there was a concept of a single reindeer leading the Santas Sledge. Primitively, this concept first made its appearance in kids rhyme “Old Santeclaus with many delights“, published in New York in 1821. However, the poet of this poem is still unknown. This poem was a masterpiece of lithography. Publisher of this poem was William B. Gilley who published it in a book entitled The Children’s Friend: A New-Year’s Present, to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve. From here, other poets also started to write about the theme of fictional reindeer. With time the number of such reindeer increased gradually from single to ten now.
The credit of naming eight reindeer of Santa siege goes to Christmas lore poet Clement Clarke Moore. He used eight reindeer names of Santa squad for the first time in his poem A Visit from St.Nicholas” also known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”). Let’s get to know more about these eight Santa helpers one by one.
Dancer loves to dance. She is usually more clever than a prancer. She is blessed with beauty and elegance. Santa loves the way she handles her work. Whenever he wants to impress others he takes dancer with him.
Dasher is named at last in the squad. Santa loves him for his super-fast speed. He always ensures timely gift deliveries. He mostly pairs up with Blitzen for distributing jobs. He knows well how to handle a long list of gifts.
One of the most vigorous of all of them is the prancer. He runs as he is flying in the air. Santa takes him wherever he wants to impress others with his majestic entry. Kicks of Prancer are always impressive and funny.
Vixen is clever as a fox. She is humorous and friendly. She knows how to make others laugh and more laugh. Santa gets her help especially when he forgets to bring a gift for someone. Kids really love her tricks.
Comet stays with cupid. He is extremely fast as his name suggests. Kids are a fan of this character. Whenever Santa makes his appearance in kids, he always takes a comet with him. Kids enjoy his friendly behavior.
Cupid, like his name, is the most friendly and sincere fellow. His motto is to spread love and cheer ever. He makes his appearance in green and red heart-shaped bells. His message of love is appreciated by everyone at Christmas.
Both Donder and Blitzen are German words in origin. Donder means thunder. He makes a thunder-like appearance as his voice is loud and aggressive. Donder sings with Santa. He is a really proud animal.
Blitzen means lightning. This word is also German in origin. He has the supernatural power of infusing lightning. His motto is to change everyone up with his powers. Santa loves him because he never lets him get late.
L. Frank Baum’s ten reindeer
L.Frank Baum introduced ten new reindeer in his story The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus 1902. All of them were totally different from the previous eight reindeer names. In this story, Flossie and Glossie are leading reindeer on Santa’s squad. Remaining eight are named in pairs as Racer and Pacer, Fearless and Peerless, Ready and Steady, Feckless and Speckless. This story was also adapted in 1985 on television.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph is a late addition in Santa’s journey. It was Robert L. May who first introduced this reindeer in his story written in verse for the opening event of the Montgomery Ward chain of department stores. Later this story was published in a book to gift kids on Christmas eve. According to this story, Rudolph’s shining nose set was different from other reindeers. This made him bold, social and helpful. Santa decided to take him to deliver gifts in foggy days because its nose could lighten up the pathways. Rudolph accepted Santa’s request and became the hero of Santa’s journey.
Appearances in popular media
Media played an important role to boost the popularity of Santa’s reindeers.In the 1947 film Miracle on 34th street, there was a reference of Donner, Blitzen, Cupid, and Dasher. In Run Rudolph Run song , there was also Rudolph reference, hit Christmas rock song in 1958.
Other reindeers also appeared in films like Prancer.
In this film story, a young girl cared for injured reindeer. Later on, she realized it was a prancer. So, she returned it back to Santa.
Let’s Go Dancing With Santa was hit song of KC & Sunshine Band in which they pinpointed Santa’s reindeer.
These reindeers also made an appearance in comedy-drama The Santa Clause in 1994. It became very popular. For this, its sequel was also released.
Reindeer introduced after Rudolph
Traditionally, nine reindeers were still popular until the 20th century. Musicians, filmmakers, and poets added more reindeers after Rudolph’s stories in their intellectual works. However, this new addition did not hit the popularity graph of Rudolph. They appeared once in media and then died.
Rudolph and all eight reindeers are still popular. In the media, late invented reindeers could not act as a substitute for the main reindeer. Rudolph is still Rudolph.No one can take its .place.It is better to call other reindeers as relatives, peers or descendants of the main nine leading reindeers.
Filmmakers also play an important role in portraying reindeers in their films released on Christmas Eve. Some of these films are even popular today.
- In the feature film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; The Movie (1998), Mitzi was Rudolph’s mother and Blitzen’s wife. It also features two other reindeer: Rudolph’s love interest Zoey and his cousin and rival Arrow, the latter of whom is Cupid’s son.
- In animated movie Annabelle’s Wish of Annabelle, a young calf transforms herself to reindeer to lead Santa team
- In the feature film The Santa Clause 2 (2002), Chet is introduced as young reindeer.
- In the film Blizard (2003), Blitzen’s daughter makes the title character. The film also shows Delphi, Blitzen’s mate, and Blizzard’s mother.
- In the 2011 films Arthur Christmas, Arthur and his grandfather Grandsanta use a team of reindeer to pull Grandsanta’s old sleigh.
- In the 2019 film Noelle, Snowcone acted as a white calf, sacred reindeer.
It is hard to imagine Christmas Eve without music. Where Santa is, there are reindeers!
So, poets and singers always appreciate both of them. Let’s see how these reindeers appealed to the audience in music.
Loretta Lynn sang the beautiful song “Shadrack The Black Reindeer” in 1947.
Leroy the Redneck Reindeer was another famous song by Joe Diffie.
Song Fabian from Australian Singer also referred to arrogant reindeer. Again in this second all nine reindeers were named. Through music, kids got their names and passed it from generation after generation.
No hit animated movie on Christmas was without these reminders. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) was an animated special TV drama in which these reindeers were shown doing something interesting every time.
In Rudolph the Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979) another reindeer named Scratcher appeared. This reindeer was first selected to lead Santa’s squad before Rudolph. Sesame Street TV serials also used the concept of reindeer for training. There is a long list of Tv serials in which reindeers are shown as a magician, teachers, jokers, preachers as well as trainers.
Santas Reindeers Names
Ten popular names of Santa Reindeer are known so far. Rudolph is the ninth one and probably most popular. The rest of the 8 reindeers are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen. Oliver is likely to be the tenth reindeer but not very popular. All these names came from different sources.
Reindeer personalities are very impressive. Each of them is distinctive in skills and positivity. Let’s see an interesting table to know more about their personality traits.
|Reindeer names||Positive personality traits||Acquires skills|
|Dancer||Optimistic and bold||Dance|
|Prancer||Vain but generous||Baking expert|
|Comet||Handsome and friendly||Superhit in kids|
|Cupid||Gentle||Good with bow and arrows|
|Blitzen||Fast as thunder||Infuse electricity in others|
|Donner||A loud and booming voice||Sing with Santa|
|Rudolph||Humble||Glowing nose light-up Santa squad|
|Olive||Admits his mistake||Good sense of humor|
|Vixen||Extra clever||Magic tricks|
Our Santa’s reindeer female
In poetic lore, Santa came with male deer. However scientifically Santa’s are female reindeer. This is because male reindeer shed antlers in November before Christmas Eve. But you see Santa squad lead by reindeer with antlers. So it must be female as in reindeer both sexes grow antlers. However, males shed it quite early in the winter start whereas females keep it until spring. So, it would be female.
To know more watch this video.
Some of Santa’s reindeer Facts
Santa will not appear alone on Christmas Eve. He always accompanies carts of toys for kids led by reindeer. Let’s know some of Santa’s reindeer facts.
- The tradition of Santa reindeer is not as old as 200 years back. They appeared officially in 1823 when Clement C. Moore wrote the poem “The Night Before Christmas,” where he says that “eight tiny reindeer” lead Santa’s sleigh through the night.
- Earlier eight original reindeer were known as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixem (later known as Donner and Blitzen).
- Rudolph came late as the ninth most famous reindeer with a red nose.
- People love to feed them, even kids sometimes bring carrots with them. Christmas Eve is a treat for these deer.
Frequently Asked Question (Faq)
What are the names of the 10 reindeers?
Names of ten reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph and olive
What are the names of Santa’s reindeer?
About ten reindeers are known so far. They are named as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph and olive
What is the name of the 12 reindeers?
It is usually a misconception that Santa has 12 reindeers. Originally Santa has nine reindeers in his Squad.
Is Rudolph one of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes, Rudolph is ninth reindeer which appeared late in the nineties.
How many reindeer does Santa have?
Santa has originally nine reindeer. However, some people include olive as tenth but its misconception.
Don’t forget to read Santa’s reindeer names article before Christmas this year. It will add more fun, knowledge, and love for the reindeer family. Tell these stories to kids, they would really enjoy listening to them. Ask them to choose which one is their favorite reindeer and why? Make your experience of Christmas Eve knowledgeable and memorable with us. I hope that you will love memorizing these names.