Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, has got a very shiny nose and if you every saw him, you could even say it glows – or at least that is my vague recollection of how the Christmas carol goes. Rudolf the red nosed reindeer is a key piece of the Christmas season for plenty of families around the world, after all how else will all of the Christmas presents get to your house on Christmas Eve then? No, reindeers are a symbol of the magic that is inherently present throughout the festive season and since they are so unbelievably cute and such a huge part of the modern day Christmas celebrations, we here at Sir Holiday thought it only fit to uncover the origins behind Rudolf the red nosed reindeer.
All the names of Santa’s beloved troop, from Rudolfthrough to Vixen were set out in a poem from the 1800’s known as A visit from St Nicholas but this was not the moment when the reindeers emerged as beloved parts of our festive traditions. No this would have to wait for more than a hundred years until in 1939 a department store in Chicago, Montgomery Ward to be exact, decided to select one of their employees to create something that would help boost Christmas sales. The store had initially bought a variety of Christmas-themed coloring books, which they handed out to children for free during the advent season in order to entice families to come into the store and shop, but the marketing department thought that there must be a better way.
Hence, they found a copywriter in their department a Mr. Robert L. May and tasked him with coming up with a catchy Christmas story that they could promote to children for years to come. However, Mr. May was going through a terribly hard time in his life at the moment, his wife was suffering with cancer and was close to death, with the high cost of medical bills and a young daughter to care for, he was extremely overstretched and not exactly in a cheerful mood to write a children’s Christmasstory. May however had a spark of genius using his own personal stories of how he was often teased for his shyness and a favorite story of his – The Ugly Duckling – he imagined the heartwarming story of a reindeer who just didn’t quite fit in.
This story, as you may have yet realized, was a massive hit and went on to sell millions of copies. Eventually May got the store to hand over the rights of the story to him and then he set out selling the story of Rudolf all over the country. After that a short cartoon featuring the famous jingle we all have come to know and love was aired on television. After that a movie followed and then another and another and by now we all have come to know and love Rudolf and his big, red, shiny nose.
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