Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is a reindeer with a glowing red nose. He is popularly known as “Santa’s 9th Reindeer” and, when depicted, is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through inclement winter weather. Rudolph first appeared in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May, and published by Montgomery Ward. The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, L.P. and has been adapted in numerous forms including a popular song, a television special and sequels, and a feature film and sequel. Character Arts, LLC manages the licensing for the Rudolph Company, L.P. In many countries, Rudolph has become a figure of Christmas folklore.
Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939 as an assignment for Montgomery Ward. The retailer had been buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas every year and it was decided that creating their own book would save money. May considered naming the reindeer “Rollo” and “Reginald” before deciding upon using the name “Rudolph“. In its first year of publication, 2.5 million copies of Rudolph's story were distributed by Montgomery Ward. The story is written as a poem in the meter of “T’was the Night Before Christmas”. Publication and reprint rights for the book “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” are controlled by Pearson Plc.
Maxton Books published the first mass-market edition of “Rudolph” and also published a sequel, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Shines Again” in 1954. In 1991 Applewood Books published “Rudolph’s Second Christmas”, an unpublished sequel that Robert May wrote in 1947. In 2003, Penguin Books issued a reprint version of the original “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” with new artwork by Lisa Papp. Penguin also reprinted May's sequels “Rudolph Shines Again” and “Rudolph’s Second Christmas” which is now re-titled “Rudolph to the Rescue”.
We all know the story. Born to Donner and his reindeer wife, Rudolph was given a gift, a shiny red glowing nose. Donner, fearing public scrutiny, hid Rudolph’s nose by packing dirt like clay over it to make it appear more normal. Rudolph talked a little funny because of it, however, accepted his father’s deed, trusting that his father knew best.
In the first organized reindeer games in which Rudolph was allowed to participate along with the rest of the young reindeer, he quickly developed a crush on a female reindeer, and upon striking a relationship, the female kissed Rudolph on the cheek and in his excitement, Rudolph leaped the highest and farthest than any other reindeer. The end result, upon landing and horse playing with one of his reindeer friends, his fake clay nose fell off and his real nose was exposed, glowing like a nuclear power plant.
It was at this point when Rudolph was no longer allowed to play any more of the reindeer games. This led Rudolph to runaway with an outcast elf who wished to become a dentist. On their journey, they ran into a prospector named Cornelius who was in search of the abominable snow beast.
The three ended up landing on the island of misfit toys. From there, Rudolph left his friends one night in fear of putting them in danger. He came across the snow beast who had cornered his mother and father and little girlfriend when they went out looking for him. Rudolph fought the beast bravely before getting thumped on the head, not to worry though, because Cornelius came to the rescue after he and the elf went looking for Rudolph also, and pushed the beast off the edge of a cliff, falling with him to their apparent doom. However, Cornelius showed up the night of Christmas Eve with the beast explaining how “snow beasts” can bounce. He had tamed the beast to be nice and then Santa announced shortly after that Christmas was to be cancelled due to severe snowstorms. This is when Santa realized the significance of Rudolph’s shiny nose and thus, the legend of Rudolph was born and Christmas was saved as Rudolph led the way for Santa’s sleigh that Christmas Eve and for every Christmas Eve thereafter.
I remember one Christmas Eve with my nephew when he was refusing to go to bed. I stepped outside to grab a smoke and to let my sister deal with him. I looked up at the sky and saw a red blinking light. I quickly stuck my head in the door and told him “Santa is already here dude, look up there in the sky, you can see Rudolph’s red blinking nose.”
He raced outside to look and started freaking out. He began to cry, fearing that Santa was going to pass him by this year. “”Mommy, Santa is here and he won’t leave me presents if I’m still awake!”
My sister said, “Then go to bed like you should have done 15 minutes ago instead of lollygagging.”
I never saw a kid rush so fast to his room and under the covers to go to sleep before in my life. It was very funny.
Of course, it really wasn’t Santa. It was just a plane. But it did get him to bed finally. LOL
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