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Reindeer & Secular Santa Not Religion

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Reindeer & Secular Santa Not Religion
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Let's Tackle The One Possible Objection
 
REINDEER / SANTA / RELIGION 
 
Here's The Real Scoop
 
Anticipating that some number of people may not understand...
or even wish to misunderstand Santa Claus, especially today's
secular Santa, I offer this section.

REINDEER & SANTA

Reindeer first became with the Santa Claus in 1821 in an illustration depicting an elfin-sized Santa, dressed in red, having his sled pulled by ONE REINDEER.
 
In 1823, reindeer became inseparable from the Santa Legend when Clement Clarke Moore first published "The Night Before Christmas" for an upstate New York newspaper. In Moore's classic poem Santa now had EIGHT REINDEER which he named"  "Santa whistled and shouted and called them by name: Now Dasher!.. Now Dancer!.. Now Prancer and Vixen!... On Comet, On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!"  ( Note the female names, Vixen, and some hold Dancer. )The original reindeer were not mean to fly, per se, but leap into the air to reach roofs.
 
Reindeer and Santa remained elfin-sized until 1860 when for Harper's Magazine Thomas Nash illustrated Santa as fat, bearded gentliving at the North Pole.  By the way, it was also Nash who also created Santa's "Naughty or Nice List."
Today, elves remain the only elfin-like characters associated with the Santa Legend
 
Rudolph, the NINTH REINDEER, didn't join the Santa until almost 80 years later in 1939 when Dartmouth's own& Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Robert May created the character for a Montgomery Ward coloring book to be given to children that year. 
 
Judge and Jury... 
Recorded literary history is clear! 
Reindeer had no part in the manger scene.
At the time of Christ's birth, they weren't there.
In addition to literature, there are no manger icons.
Their legend, which was crafted by mortal men, began
1821 YEARS AFTER THE NATIVITY. 
 
CASE CLOSED! 

SANTA & CHRISTMAS

It's safe to say that today's secular Santa Claus has as much relevence to the religious Christmas as Santa Barbara, CA has.  Today's Santa is an add-mixture of historical, mythical, and very many commerical influences. 
 
Some things are for certain: Santa Claus, in any form, IS NEVER DEPICTED near or about the Nativity, Christ-child,or Jesus throughout his life.  And, one didn't see Santa as an extra in Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of Christ!" 
 
It has already been shown in the above panel that reindeer have no religious significance to Christmas. The purpose of this panel is to prove that today's SANTA LEGEND is also free from religious significance, in case some people seek to defeat the reindeer as Dartmouth's mascot and symbol through an association with a Santa of whom they are mis-informed.
 
IT WON'T HAPPEN... BECAUSE IT CAN'T
SANTA IS SECULAR
 
Of numerous articles available, the following link best, and consisely, explains Santa's relationship to the religious Christmas. 
 
 
 
It's a fast read... packed with information.