Do you believe in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer?
Of Course Not - It's Only a Song
The simple answer to this request is No, I don't believe in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The reason I don't believe in him is that Rudolph is a work of fiction that was never intended to do anything more than entertain children. Unlike Santa Claus, a Christmas character who is modeled on a real historical person, Rudolph, and Santa's other eight reindeer for that matter, are merely additions to the story of the original St. Nicholas.
Now, to the obvious next question that one could expect which is, Do you like or enjoy the story of Rudolph and the song 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'? My answer is Yes, as the story and lyrics have a heartwarming appeal and the catchy tune is fun to listen to.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was a Story Written for Christmas
Since the poem, which tells the story and upon which the song is based, was written for Christmas, the story of Rudolph becomes especially appealing during the Christmas season as it is, for most of us at least, a time to put the daily concerns of life aside and spend time enjoying life by reconnecting with friends and family while suspending normal belief and allowing our imaginations to soar. With the holiday's emphasis on young children (after all, Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus) whose minds easily move from fact to fiction thereby not limiting their imaginations to what is real and possible, the story's appeal is increased. Sharing these stories and songs of Christmas with children can momentarily free us from the limits of reality and allow us to enjoy our own imaginations again. Like a vacation, such experiences give us a chance to renew our minds and spirits thereby enabling us to continue to see hope and beauty in the world when we return to the reality of work, problems and disappointments which are a part of everyday living.
As to young children, most of them begin to figure out the difference between reality and make believe at a very young age. The difference between children and adults is that young children can easily move back and forth between the worlds of reality and fantasy while adults are continually conscious of the line separating the two.
Oh Daddy. It's only Pretend.
One of my favorite memories of my own two sons when they were toddlers is the time spent driving them to the sitters on my way to work. I had my four year old in the car seat next to me and my six month old in the car seat in back. On the drive to the sitter's in the morning and back home at night, my four year old and I would exchange stories and these stories often dealt with what we did or planned to do that day. At that time, my job required that I make short visits, sometimes for the day only and other times overnight, to offices in neighboring California and Colorado. These always involved flying and renting of a car.
Just as his mother and I had jobs, so too, did my son and his younger brother who both worked in an office with co-workers and the fact that we drove right past the building with his office every day without stopping didn't affect his stories and experiences in the least. Since I traveled out of town regularly, so did he and his brother and there was nothing more humorous than his tales of him and his brother fighting rush-hour traffic in San Diego or Los Angeles while trying to get to the airport to make their flight - picture a four year old driving a car on the freeway while relying on his six month old brother for navigation instructions.
One day I was preparing to leave for a two day trip to California while my wife had to fly back east to be with her dying grandmother. I had arranged for the sitter to keep the boys over night and, as we drove I talked, about my upcoming trip. My son joined with a tale of his trip to Colorado which he and his brother had planned for that day. The trip to Colorado was an urgent business trip that I could not get him to postpone. Finally, with mock seriousness, I explained to him that with both his Mother and I going out of state, I was very worried about him and his brother traveling out of state as well. He promptly gave me a look of disbelief and said Oh, Daddy its only pretend.
Having clarified for me the difference between fantasy and reality, my four-year old then proceeded to return to discussing our planned business trips for the day.
Links to My Other Christmas Hubs
- The Origin of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
For almost three quarters of a century the song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has remained a popular hit at Christmas time. In fact the song, has become an integral part of our Christmas celebration much...
- The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Twelve Days of Christmas is a popular carol that dates back to the Middle Ages. Being much older than other popular Christmas carols, this one appears to have evolved rather than being composed and...
- St Nicholas and the Merchant's Daughters
St. Nicholas, who morphed into Santa Claus, was a real historical figure but much of what is known about his is mainly legend. St. Nicholas was a famous bishop in the early days of Christianity and he was...
- Father Christmas and His Assistant Pre Fouettard
Saint Nicholas Day is December 6th. In many parts of the world this day is celebrated with St. Nicholas visiting cities and homes where he distributes gifts to children. This tradition goes back to the Middle...
- A Job As Santa Claus
The Santa in the mall or the department store Santa has been a retail Christmas tradition for most of the last century and is continuing into the 21st century. Every year thousands of men are hired to dress...
- My Top Christmas Stocking Fillers
When I was growing up my brothers and sisters and I always hung up our stockings on Christmas Eve and continued the practice until we grew up and moved out. We always received an orange along with some...
- How-To Track Santa Clauses Flight with NORAD
Every year since I was a child the morning papers on Christmas day have always carried a little notice from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs, the joint U.S. - Canadian...
- St Nicholas and the Two Thieves
In life Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in modern Turkey, had a reputation for caring for and protecting his flock. Even before he became a Bishop at a very young age, he used the wealth he had inherited...
- Christmas Cards - From Penny Post to CyberPost
A short history of Christmas cards from the original elaborate Victorian Era cards to today's eCards.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Song
© 2007 Chuck Nugent