Myth Blaster: Santa’s Reindeer are All Female


Sandy G., Wisconsin sent this bit of misinformation about Santa’s Reindeer, she got from an email sent to her and then sent to Kritter Girl at Kritter Girl’s Korner, who then sent it to me, her editor, to post …

REMEMBER THIS AT CHRISTMAS TIME …
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter,
[editor note: October] usually late November to mid-December.   Female reindeer retain their antlers till 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 a girl. We should’ve known
Only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost!

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Myth Blaster Verdict: PARTLY TRUE with some corrections …
Researching the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (and other sources below), I have corrected the error of the common species of reindeer and caribous as to when the males shed their antlers above – male reindeer shed their antlers in late October. This applies to all reindeer (caribou) except for the species saintnicolas magicalus and although it is not known when this species does shed their antlers, if at all, considering the experience and knowledge that Saint Nick has with reindeer, they not all female or all males. Documentation has been found that all eight reindeer are matched pairs – meaning there are four females and four males. Which demonstrates that some females delight in taking over an event or the credit for an event or circumstance. [See Wikipedia entry/information about each reindeer below]
Santa doesn’t have time to stop for directions and instead is supplied with a GPS system in order to make his rounds in one night, and accompanied with radar equipment to avoid bad storms he seems to handle the situation – otherwise Mrs. Claus would be tagging along as navigator, but would probably distract him or give him a headache from constantly remarking that he must slow down. Therefore, although Santa does not require female help to get around, his reindeer are a “matched set”.
If Santa has trouble keeping his weight down, it is because Mrs. Santa is making all that delicious food and the kids are leaving him milk and cookies for snacks throughout the night of Christmas Eve. Elves because of their small size help out by slipping down the narrow chimneys to unlock the front door so Santa won’t get stuck. 
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Further Reading:
Santa’s Reindeer Lodge, North Polewith Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer song and Santa email capabilities.
Santa Clause’ Reindeer (Wikipedia)Santa’s Reindeer Round-Up, Disneyland ParkThe Legendary Role of Reindeer in Christmas
History of Rudolph – Snopes/Urban Legends
Most Frequent Asked Questions About Santa’s ReindeerPet Care Tips website. Another place where claim that all the reindeer were females. Since Alaska Department of Fish and Game is the authorized site for information on reindeer, we can assume that it is correct that all the flying reindeer are not female, as mentioned above.
And the original names have been altered/misspelled since the original poem of the T’was the Night Before Christmas, (A Visit From St. Nick, 1822) by Clement Clarke Moore, specifically in the song Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer and other sources see Donner and Blitzen.
The Wikipedia entry describes the reindeer and their gender:

Dasher – The first reindeer and the right leader before Rudolph came.
Dancer – The second reindeer and the left leader before Rudolph was included. She is the graceful reindeer.
Prancer – The third reindeer and on the right in the second row. He is the most powerful reindeer.
Vixen – The fourth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the second row. She is beautiful, and also powerful like her companion, Prancer.
Comet – The fifth reindeer and on the right-hand side in the third row. He brings wonder and happiness to children when Santa flies over everyone’s houses.
Cupid – The sixth reindeer and on the right-hand side in the third row. She brings love and joy to children when Santa flies over everyone’s houses.
Donner – The seventh reindeer and on the left-hand side in the fourth row. His original name was Dunder, a variant of donder, meaning “thunder” in Dutch.
Blitzen – The eighth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the fourth row. Though female, she is portrayed as a male in American culture. Her original name is Blixem. She is known as the lightning reindeer because the word ‘Blitz’ is German for lightning, as is Bliksem, her original name, in Dutch.

Also noted – Vixen is also the name of a Heavy Metal all female rock band.
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