Have you ever thought about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? It’s so deeply ingrained in the fiber of my holiday season, that it was only the other day that I sat up bolt upright and realized:
Oh my fucking shit, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is what parents told children when they saw planes in the night sky.
Think about it. Really think about it. Planes have blinking red lights that appear against the black of the night sky. Do you think that one kid was like, “Daddy, what’s that?” and the dad decided to lie to his kid and say, “Well, that’s Santa’s sleigh.”
“Well, that sounds fake, but okay,” the kid says skeptically, looking at his father, seeing before him his inevitable, futile future.
His father, seeing the disdain in his seven-year-old’s eyes, resolved to make this little shit believe him. “No, son, it’s true. The lead reindeer of Santa’s sleigh has a special red nose to help light the way for Santa. His name is,” thinks for a second (Derek? No, that’s dumb. Mercutio? No, too weird), “Rudolph.”
“Oh,” the kid says, second-guessing himself because Rudolph is so clearly the name of a reindeer. Maybe he was wrong and his dad isn’t a phony.
“Yeah,” the dad says, seeing now the uncertainity in his son’s eyes and pouncing like a mountain lynx, “yeah—Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
“That’s a little on the nose,” the kid says. They both pause before going, “Ayyyyy.”
“No but seriously, that seems a little too literal,” the kid says.
The father, frantic, says, “Wanna get ice cream?” The kid instantly forgets everything they were talking about, satiated by the prospect of mint-chocolate chip.
So that’s definitely what happened with the first instance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And this is why I can’t have nice things and why adults still need to believe in Santa Claus. Because me dissecting Christmas myths isn’t fun or cute, and not something I want to make an active habit of, but it keeps springing up.
I was thinking a lot about Rudolph because I was talking about my favorite Christmas movies—I was trying to remember the title of The Christmas List and eventually I did—and then I started talking about those old ABC Family stop-motion, felt-covered movies with Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. Also does anyone remember that one with Young Santa Claus, when he was Kris Kringle? He was so hot, for a twenty-something stop-motion, felt-covered puppet. So totally boyfriend-material.
With the arrival of Christmas and ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas, this is the inauguration of 25 days of asking the hard questions about our favorite childhood Christmas movies. Why do we get coal if we’re naughty? How did Kevin’s family leave him Home Alone? When is the appropriate time to tell your parents that you no longer like the color blue? Who really is Santa? What is mince pie? What is it?
It’s these types of questions and hard news journalism that you can expect from Holidannys. So I want you to ask yourself a hard question. And I want an even harder answer. Which reindeer are you? Dasher? Dancer? Prancer? Vixen? Comet? Cupid? Donner? Blitzen? Or that fame-whore Rudolph?
I feel like I’m a Blitzen. Idk why; he just seems like he’s got a good attitude.
Omg, what if the Kardashians had a Christmas episode, and it all started with, instead of the traditional intro—actually though, this season has a new opening credit—it was just them being Santa’s reindeer.
On Kendall, on Kylie, on Khloe, on Kris! On Kourtney, on Caitlyn, on Kanye, on Corey (Gamble, Kris Jenner’s new boyfriend)! And do you recall, the most famous Kardashian of all! Kim!