If it wasn’t for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa wouldn’t be able to reach the millions of children he does every Christmas eve. ConnectPink's Angela Carey spoke exclusively with Rudolph to learn more about how he became Santa’s number one reindeer.
The obvious question first: how did you get that bright red nose?
It’s a birth defect. The doctors were never able to tell my mother why I came out this way. She used to tell me that my red nose was what made me special.
It can’t have been easy growing up with such an obvious deformity?
As the song says “all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call me names”. I had a terrible childhood. They never let me join in any reindeer games. I was teased all the time. I hated going out in public. I had no real friends as a child – only that woodland squirrel who had an unfortunate birthmark on his behind. I think he’s working for the Easter Bunny now.
So what did you do about your nose?
I tried everything to make my red nose less obvious. Nothing worked. I ended up becoming a bit of a recluse. I never went out, never had any friends over. I longed for a girlfriend, but that never happened. It was a miserale existence really. Just me and my mum.
So how did you come to be Santa’s number one reindeer?
My mum – God bless her – told me I could be anything I wanted to be. I didn’t believe her for a long time. Who would want a reindeer with a bright red nose? Anyway, when Santa was looking for new reindeer, Mum encouraged me to apply. I got through the selection process to an interview with the big fellow himself. Mrs Claus wandered in during the interview and I think she felt sorry for me. She loves children, especially those who face struggles in life. I think she had a word in Santa’s ear and told him to give me a job. Like all good husbands, he did what he was told.
You didn’t make it to the front line straight away, though did you?
No. Like I said I got the job out of sympathy. I don’t think Santa really thought I could do it. I started in the back row. And I tell you, it was no fun sniffing Blitzen’s behind on a journey around the world. He oughta lay off the baked beans, I can tell you!
The front row?
Oh yes. Well, things went okay for a couple of years, then, one foggy Christmas eve, Santa was concerned about whether it would be clear enough for him to take off. The weather really was foul – fouler than Blitzen’s pop-offs. It really was touch and go as to whehter we would be able to leave the North Pole or not. We had never seen it so bad – not even Santa and he’s been around for centuries.
That must have been worrying for Santa.
Oh yes. It was his big night – the one night of the year when all the attention was on him (don’t print this, but he’s got quite an ego). He would have been really peeved if he hadn’t been able to deliver all those presents – and trust me, you don’t want to see Santa in a bad mood!
What did he do?
He paced backwards and forwards, not knowing what to do. It was all getting too much for him and he and Mrs Claus had a terrible argument. I snuck up to the window to have a listen. Not that I was prying, mind you. I just wanted to know what was going on. Well, Santa must have seen the glow from my nose at the window. He came straight out. “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Of course, I said yes.
I bet you were excited.
Well, a little nervous at first. I wondered how the other reindeer would feel. It thought they might hate me and call me “Santa’s little pet” or something – the scars of childhood never really leave you. But they were as keen as anyone to take off that night and, if I had to lead them, then so be it. In the end, they loved me!
How do you and the other reindeer manage to stay so quiet when you land on the roof?
We have regular pedicures. It keeps our hoofs soft and light. I recommend it. All the mums out there should have at least one a month.
The kids love to put carrots out for you on Christmas Eve. Do you ever get sick of carrots?
Not at all. There was a time when we were a bit jealous of Santa. He seemed to get cookies all the time. But then we decided that it was all those cookies that made Santa so, well, so round. We decided that eight fat reindeer couldn’t pull a fat Santa, so we stick to the carrots. It’s a much healthier option. Santa unfortunately, won’t be convinced.
My kids always leave a can of beer with the cookies. Santa must drink a lot of beer on the way around too?
Look, don’t print this, but there’ve been times when us reindeer have had to take over the sleigh. Presents have been mixed up too. If you didn’t get what you wanted one year, it was probably because Santa was a little too tipsy by the time he got to your house. I tell you, some nights, if the police pulled us over and put him on the breathalyser, he’d blow it sky high.
Perhaps we’ll leave it there, then. Merry Christmas, Rudolph. Give our regards to Santa. And a happy and safe New Year to all.