Reindeer live in arctic and subarctic climates, and Santa spends some of his “off-time” traveling to evaluate reindeer and find the truly gifted ones that can pull his sleigh. Reindeer are used to cold weather, and actually prefer it, but even reindeer need protection from the elements at the North Pole. They get to live in a cosy barn during the coldest weather when they’re not in training for the sleigh pull.
Santa’s reindeer generally sleep at night so they can train during the day – after all, they need to stay in shape to pull the sleigh for that long ride on Christmas Eve! As their special trip gets closer, their schedules are altered so they can be as rested as possible.
The largest Reindeer can reach up to four feet high at the shoulder and weigh as much as 250 pounds. Reindeer are the only type of deer in which both male and female reindeer have antlers. It is believed that there are no longer any wild Reindeer, the entire species seeming to have been domesticated.
Each Reindeer can pull up to twice its own weight, making it an ideal animal for pulling a sleigh loaded down with any amount of cargo. Thus, nine Reindeer would be able to pull a sleigh with 13,500 pounds of toys for an unlimited amount of time.
Most reindeer can’t fly, but Santa’s reindeer are special, they can fly very high and very far without getting tired. Long ago, Santa Claus and the elves discovered the special formula of Magical Reindeer Dust which makes them fly. This dust is sprinkled on each of the reindeer shortly before they leave on Christmas Eve. It gives them enough magic to fly right around the world. They can fly very fast: at about the speed of a Christmas light. Besides the Magic Dust, Santa’s reindeer are fed a “special” diet throughout the year which helps give them the power of flight. You can make your own Reindeer food by mixing porridge oats and glitter to give to them on Christmas Eve.
Santa Claus has a total of eight reindeer, who magically tow his sleigh through the sky. They are named Dancer, Prancer, Dasher, Vixen, Cupid, Comet, Donner and Blitzen. They take him all over the world to deliver gifts and presents to children. There is another famous reindeer that is used by Santa in foggy nights that is known as Rudolph. The reason his nose glows so bright is due to a medical condition – nasus roseus (pronounced “NAY-suss ROSE-ee-us”). It doesn’t hurt, though, so don’t worry. His glowing nose makes it possible for Santa to complete his mission even in a blizzard or heavy fog.
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