Spoiler Alert-About Santa’s Reindeer

Amazing things happen when you question unquestioned answers! For example, Santa’s reindeer. While St. Nick’s reindeer are always depicted with full antlers, science suggests otherwise! Wildlife biologists inform us that the full display of antlers is almost a definite giveaway that none of Santa’s reindeer are males.

SantaHat-QuestionMark-webHow do we know? Male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen . . . had to be female.


Another possibility for the male vote: Santa’s sleigh helpers could also be steers. Sledders quite often use steers because they maintain their body condition throughout the winter. But when you think about the timing of Santa’s ride, it’s important to know that bulls are tuckered out from rutting season, when they mate with as many as a dozen females in the months leading up to December. So, that leaves them depleted and too lean to pull a sleigh or sled loaded down with gifts through heavy snows and cold weather.

And one final give-away: We should’ve known that the deer were female when they were able to GPS their way to millions of residences over night. Male deer wouldn’t have asked for directions and would most likely have gotten lost or turned around many times. Just sayin’!

Isn’t it exciting what you discover when you question unquestioned answers – in this case unquestioned Christmas answers! It looks like we’ll have to consider changing some names of Santa’s deer in order to be gender specific – and correct.

ReindeerWithRudolphYour Challenge:

What names would you assign to these females who brave the winter skies every Christmas?





© Bil and Cher Holton,



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