Recruiting Reindeer

'tis the season for fun and frivolity. 'tis also the season, at our house, of the reindeer. We've got close to 60 of 'em (not live, of course) that I trot out every first of December and place all around the house (and I mean ALL). They're my way of decorating for the holidays, a somewhat non-ecumenical way. Since my husband is Jewish it seems more appropriate than placing Santa Clauses around.

This year for my holiday celebration at Christine Rains Graphic Design I've drawn many of my favorite reindeer and am posting them on my twitter feed. They're so lovely I just had to share. It's also a chance to showcase my illustration skills which is the point of all this ... self promotion!

Please follow along as I post a reindeer-a-day on my twitter feed until December 21, when the winter solstice officially arrives. @christinerains

REINDEER LORE: Reindeer are also called caribou and are native to the Arctic and subarctic tundra, boreal and mountains of northern Europe, Siberia and North America. Some species have already gone extinct. :( 

Why are reindeer associated with Santa's sleigh, you might ask? The first time we saw it was in 1821 when a New York printer published a 12 page booklet in which he wrote: 

Old Santeclaus with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night.
O'er chimneytops, and tracks of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you.

That original printer had this to say when asked who really wrote this:

"Dear Sir, the idea of Santeclaus was not mine nor was the idea of a reindeer. The author of the tale but submitted the piece, with little added information. However, it should be noted that he did mention the reindeer in a subsequent correspondence. He stated that far in the north near the Arctic lands a series of animals exist, these hooven and antlered animals resemble the reindeer and are feared and honored by those around, as you see he claims to have heard they could fly from his mother. His mother being an Indian of the area."

I so love the image of flying reindeer.

The Night Before Christmas was first published in 1823 when all the reindeer are named. Come on, you know them all. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen.

And no, I haven't named my reindeer.


Happy 21 days of Winter!