Cynthia is a writer, artist, and teacher. She loves studying language, arts, and culture, and sharing that knowledge.
There are Santa’s reindeer, and then there are Santa’s reindeer. What are they like? Are they mischievous? Are they funny?
Clement C. Moore used secretive means to reveal the names of eight reindeer in his poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas." But once the world found out, people began to make songs about them, and Santa started using their names every time he took off in the sled.
How Many Reindeer Does Santa Have?
Traditionally, there are eight reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen). Rudolph is the ninth addition (made famous by the song about his red nose). And then there's Olive, the other reindeer.
What are these reindeer like, and what do they do during their time off? Find out more about their histories and personalities below.
Are Santa's Reindeer Female or Male?
Santa's reindeer are typically portrayed as male in pop culture (Rudolph is referred to as a "him" in the song), but according to two professors at the University of Edinburgh, Santa's reindeer are actually all female because male reindeer shed their antlers during the winter, while female reindeer retain their antlers, and Santa's reindeer are always depicted with antlers. Male reindeer also lose nourishment and vitality during the winter months, so only the females are strong and healthy enough to pull a sleigh full of toys and a 260-lb. man.
Quick Look at All the Reindeer
He loves to go fast!
All kinds of dance
A bit vain, though affectionate
Handsome and easy-going
Good with kids
Bringing people together
Fast as a bolt!
Can electrify others
A little down on himself
Admits when she's wrong
Good at hide-and-go-seek
Dasher: The Speed Demon
Who hasn't heard of Dasher?
He’s one of the fastest reindeer in Santa’s herd. He’s always ready to dash out the door. For that reason, he excels at track and field during the off-season.
After his yearly tenure at the North Pole, he might find himself at a high school track and field meet, trying to run the 800-yard dash. You can bet he’s usually the first to finish.
“Dasher” originally came from a German name, Dascher, meaning "purse-maker." Whoa! He can sew! One has to wonder if he is the Father of the Modern Hand Bag.
Are You Like Dasher?
- loves to be social
- good at sports; prefers track and field
- doesn't mind the cold
- aware of fashion
- loves to party
- has a big heart
See Those Ol' Reindeer Singing Personalities Shine!
Dancer: The Salsa Phenom
Dancer is a reindeer with a unique personality. He’s completely extroverted. When he’s not helping Santa, he’s having dance parties.
His favorite genre is Latin music due to the strong rhythm. He would be happy to dance with Enrique Iglesias.
Since dancing is his passion, he knows the tango, salsa, merengue, and even has ventured into contra- and square-dancing. Do-si-do-ing can be a little difficult, but he likes it.
Plus, you’ll never find him without a bell around his neck, as he never hesitates to indulge in pomp and circumstance.
Are You Like Dancer?
- has good hand-eye-foot coordination
- great at dance moves
- loves wearing colorful clothes
- popular among the elves
- loves eating popcorn
- loves a celebration
- loves to go to the movies with friends
Prancer: The Fairest of Them All
Prancer loves the other reindeer and would do anything for them.
But he also loves to carry a mirror to gaze at himself on the sleigh every now and then. He has to look his best all the time because he never knows quite who he’s going to meet.
Mrs. Claus made him a special reindeer-harness that is red and green with extra attachments for his mirror, comb, and brush.
He often is found in the elves’ factory prancing around gracefully with all the other reindeer, elves, and helpers cheering him on.
Are You Like Prancer?
- always is sure to look great
- loves his accessories
- great at baking (especially mint-flavored cookies)
- absolutely loyal
- has high energy
- totally thinks out loud
- favorite song: "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"
Vixen: The Most Enchanting Reindeer
Vixen is the comedic reindeer known for lots of magic tricks. The other reindeer often get slightly annoyed with his ability to make things disappear and reappear.
He’s great at tricking the other reindeer out of their candy canes. He also has a weakness for yummy Santa-shaped chocolates.
Santa loves Vixen’s tricks because they really come in handy on Christmas Eve. That bag of toys is quite large, and that chimney is quite small . . .
Are You Like Vixen?
- very smart
- loves to be the center of attention
- cool, calm, and collected
- everyone likes to confide in him
- gifted at magic tricks
- loves to help others, especially Santa
- often runs late
Comet: An All-Around Wonderful Reindeer
Comet is out of this world—as his name implies. He’s quite handsome and is always smiling. He’s easy-going and loves to play ball with all the young fawns.
All the children of the world seem to look up to him. Santa, of course, loves this about Comet.
In the days before Christmas, Santa will head out with Comet to check his list and see how children all around the world are doing. When they see Comet, they flock to pet him because he’s quite adorable and so laid-back.
He just loves the attention the children shower upon him. Plus, he inspires little children to be on their best behavior.
Are You Like Comet?
- loves to make people laugh
- incredibly smart
- laid back
- likes flexibility
- once he makes up his mind to do something, he'll get it done
- always willing to lend a helping hand
- loves honesty and playing fair
Cupid: Loves Sharing Love
Cupid is an affectionate reindeer. She has Christmas reins decorated with red and green little heart-shaped bells. Her motto is “Spread the Love.”
She often carries mistletoe sprigs and mysteriously places them all around peoples’ entryways at Christmastime. That way, people don’t forget to hug and kiss during the season.
She’s always singing, too. The other reindeer roll their eyes when she begins singing “Joy to the World” for the thousandth time.
She also makes appearances on Valentine’s Day, showering people with red hearts.
Are You Like Cupid?
- favorite colors are red and green
- loves jazzy Christmas music
- really good at finding mistletoe
- really good with bows and arrows
- cannot stand it when a friend is sad and will do anything to help
- loves helping Santa eat his cookies and milk
- has a sweet tooth, but also likes a good, crunchy carrot
Donner: Always a Party
Donner’s name comes from “thunder” in German. This is for good reason. He’s always noticed when entering a room because he’s got a deep, booming baritone voice.
He loves to sing those low notes. His joyous renditions of “Santa Baby” makes all the reindeerettes swoon. “Santa Claus is Comin' to Town” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” always receive high marks and rowdy applause from his fellow reindeer.
He loves hanging out with Blitzen, too. Together, they can really belt out some dynamic duets.
Are You Like Donner?
- loves to take charge
- loves to sing and loves jazz music
- very creative
- very close to a couple of reindeer friends, like Blitzen
- loves a good debate
- hums Christmas songs a lot, even while flying
- prefers dark chocolate
Blitzen: Fast as Lightning
Blitzen’s name comes from the German word for “lightning." He’s fast, playful, and flies like a bolt when it comes to helping Santa deliver his Christmas goodies.
When Santa yells, “Faster!", Blitzen has the ability to infuse an electric charge into the other reindeer to make them zap through the sky, fast as lightning. He’s also best reindeer-buds with Donner, and they often hum duets to themselves while flying high in the skies.
Are You Like Blitzen?
- gets everything done extremely fast
- he's zippy everywhere he goes
- has a tenor voice that complements Donner's baritone
- when not working, he loves a good Christmas movie
- always on time
- almost always finishes projects
- loves spontaneity
Rudolph: Santa's Guiding Light
Rudolph is Santa’s famous ninth reindeer. He joined the herd a few years after the original eight. At first, he was terribly self-conscious.
He suffered from low self-esteem because he had an odd red nose. It wasn’t until Santa recognized his rosy bulb as a beacon of light that he was ushered into his role as leader of the herd.
Because his nose glowed, he was able to lead Santa safely around the world, on the snowiest of nights . . . and the other reindeer agreed that Rudolph just had to stay with the herd.
Now, when Rudolph isn’t helping on the sleigh ride, he loves to play hide-and-seek with the other reindeer. He has an advantage, though. He can light up dark places effortlessly and find the other reindeer every time.
Are You Like Rudolph?
- a little shy
- is a leader when he needs to be
- loves reindeer games
- very playful around friends he knows well
- loves helping others
- loves seeing new places
- steady worker, helping the elves to get all their Christmas tasks done
Olive: Not Just Another Reindeer
Olive is the tenth reindeer to join Santa’s herd. She had a precarious start. You may recall the line from Rudolph’s song, " . . . all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names . . . ” Many people heard, “Olive, the other reindeer . . . ” Well, it’s true. Olive is the other reindeer.
She did, in fact, laugh at Rudolph with his big red nose, but it was only because she thought Rudolph was an amazing asset to Santa’s team, and she really wanted to be a part of it. So, she started out by mocking Rudolph, but then later realized that wasn’t becoming for a reindeer. Besides, everyone knows that when you tease your friends, it's because you really like them.
She shyly apologized to Rudolph, and they have been best friends ever since. She loves to play hide-and-seek and is especially good at finding the Abominable Snowman. To learn more about Olive, the other reindeer, check out her beautifully illustrated book!
Are You Like Olive?
- insightful and intelligent
- only a little shy, but very outgoing once she gets to know you
- also loves reindeer games
- really good at making good friends
- great sense of humor
- prefers to work behind the scenes
- always has a lot of projects going on
- lives in a gingerbread house
© 2011 Cynthia Calhoun
Kevin Hannan on September 04, 2020:
i love you santa and olive cant wait to help you Christmas eve love kevin
my mom doesn't want me do make my name public on July 23, 2020:
i'm actually young it's just that I googled Santa's reindeer and found this. And I'm just like Rudolph, I read it and it's completely me!!
Knobby on June 06, 2020:
I have so much in common with Rudolph, except it's my knob that glows red.
Hefe1477 on May 12, 2020:
I Started searching about olive as soon as i knew She Was Real
Rachel on March 27, 2020:
I like Rudolph
Alexisboyce on March 15, 2020:
I have everything but one thing in common with Rudolph. :)
Walter on February 27, 2020:
I always heard that Donner was named after that unfortunate incident in the Sierra Nevadas in the winter of 1846-1847...
Dylan Arens on February 13, 2020:
rudolph is the best ever Is olive
Serafine444 on February 09, 2020:
Im kinda all of them
LEAH on January 25, 2020:
I love all
Sam on January 15, 2020:
I thought olive was a dog that traveled to see Santa to become apart of his team?
Michelle Londyn Cristofaro on January 13, 2020:
I am like Dasher because I do not mind the cold and I am good at sports but I am kind of like Olive but more like Dasher so I am Dasher.
Anonymous on December 30, 2019:
Donner was the closest for me. The only thing I don't like is dark chocolate, and I totally love Blitzen, even before this test!
Wolfie on December 24, 2019:
I'm olive,but i'm kinda Rudolph too.
Wolfboy7069 on December 24, 2019:
I am like comet because I am smart and handsome
Elouise on December 24, 2019:
Hfrhh on December 24, 2019:
I am all around olive though I’m a male
Lets go dasher on December 23, 2019:
Ameirah on December 22, 2019:
I’m olive I’m shy but when I know them I’m not anymore but how does she know all this stuff is she mrs.claus.
I may not be extremely like blitzen but blitzen is my favorite and always has been! on December 22, 2019:
I may not be extremely like Blitzen but he’s always been my favorite reindeer!
Augie on December 21, 2019:
Rudolph cool and nice
Tamania on December 21, 2019:
I am Comet , Prancer and Ruldoph
Vance on December 21, 2019:
Oliver is obviously the best one in the world
bobby on December 20, 2019:
is dancer a girl or boy?
jack on December 20, 2019:
I'm all the deer
ashley on December 19, 2019:
Aid@n on December 19, 2019:
i am like Donner i am super LOUD AAHHHHHHHHHH
Ember Dolphus on December 19, 2019:
I love Cupid!She is so good.
Isaac on December 18, 2019:
I am Dancer always like to dance
Breonna Batchelor on December 18, 2019:
I am Ruldoph. He is so funny and kind to others.
Olive the Reindeer on December 17, 2019:
I am Olive, I’m now telling everyone I know about Olive because Olive is my FAVORITE
Laushe on December 17, 2019:
Happy very Happy
Hd-live-simbaxscar on December 16, 2019:
I'm dance bc I can do all types of dance pretty well and the only onei'm not that good at is the tango
blitzen on December 16, 2019:
i'm a blitzen because in third grade i was the fastest kid in my class and later on would become the fastest in my grade
Mary on December 16, 2019:
I love Rudolph the red nose reindeer because i like he and he is funny to me
AWSOME 43 on December 16, 2019:
I am dasher because I always trying to be the fastest and trying to be the one that does the best because I try to run more laps than my class and I never give give up like dasher
hi on December 16, 2019:
i am cupid i love to make everyone feel like they are part of a group
Chase on December 16, 2019:
I'm dancer because I like to dance
rudolph man p.s logan f on December 16, 2019:
I AM RUDOLPH
Murray on December 16, 2019:
I love it
XxRopeAnimationsxX on December 15, 2019:
I'm legit Prancer. I always try to look my best for school and if I don't I get really embarrassed and self aware. I'll start making up these little stories where everyone is staring at me and whispering stuff like, "Look at her! She's so raggedy and ugly!".
Long story short, I get really really out of whack.
Lovey on December 15, 2019:
I'm just like Cupid! I literally can't stand to see my friends upset and will do anything to cheer them up, even if it's something I don't normally do like singing! I love seeing people who are usually too shy to speak up for themselves get some attention and love here and there. I wish I could meet her irl because we would be bffs!
Colena ring on December 15, 2019:
I’m like Donner because I am loud and I love to sing
grace on December 15, 2019:
I am a Donner
jola on December 14, 2019:
Rodolph is my favroite
Jingle on December 14, 2019:
Comet and Olive rule and there is nothing you can do about it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bella on December 13, 2019:
Alan on December 13, 2019:
JuJu Bear McDoodlebug on December 13, 2019:
I am most like Rudolph
Lily on December 13, 2019:
Maya on December 13, 2019:
I love Rudolph as he helped Santa
brian on December 13, 2019:
Nylah on December 13, 2019:
I like them all! So hard to choose!I can't just pick one or i'll hurt the other reindeer's feelings! So I guess i'll pick all of them.Including SANTA!
Nylah on December 13, 2019:
I am dancer!
Jace on December 12, 2019:
Trinity on December 11, 2019:
babatunde on December 11, 2019:
Olive is a fraud
Cupid on December 11, 2019:
I am Comet
Wolfy on December 10, 2019:
Cindi on December 10, 2019:
I can not choose because I love all the reindeer that is why I am going to close my eyes and choose and get my brother to come and choose...
Emma on December 10, 2019:
Ok but I actually thought that blitzed was fashion and all about the BLIng but guess not
Michelle on December 09, 2019:
Just to point this out my personality is Dancer or Vixen but Olive? I mean shes kinda like Rudolph but without a shiny nose also no offense to olive lovers but don't ya think she kinda doesn't fit with santa tell me if yu disagree or agree just no offense guys :D
KATEIDIDbghjdr on December 09, 2019:
what who dosent like Donner
Layla on December 09, 2019:
One weird question is Why does Santa break and enter every body's house on Christmas Eve?
yttf on December 09, 2019:
what who hates donner
kalel on December 09, 2019:
Rose rose on December 08, 2019:
Morgan on December 08, 2019:
I love rain deer’s
Bridge on December 07, 2019:
Im like Vixen I love to prank every once in a while
question on December 06, 2019:
this article starts out by saying that the reindeer are probably all female, but then goes on to use male pronouns to describe them. this is inconsistent and also why wouldn't you go for girl-power and use female pronouns?
litlle pealr on December 06, 2019:
im dasher im faster
Saphire on December 05, 2019:
None of theese match me LOL
Maya on December 05, 2019:
This helped so much .i hope you don’t mind but i put Olive as clumsy in my project.I AM SO LIKE OLIVE
Aaliyah on December 04, 2019:
Hi santa i want a phone for chismas
Junbug on December 03, 2019:
I’m more like olive but more like all the time shy hi class if your seeing this
Londyn on December 01, 2019:
I’m just like dasher I am fast I love tracks and fields and running
Brice on November 30, 2019:
I am Comet I love sports and people say I am a magnet for little kids
Erica on November 30, 2019:
I am half Comet half Rudolph mostly Rudolph
ElIs on November 30, 2019:
does someone know a poуem where the reindeers characteristics would be described?
Mia on November 30, 2019:
I’m so Rudolph
Jaxie on November 29, 2019:
Donner the best!!! on November 28, 2019:
I’m sooo Donner! Blitzen is my best bud then. Donner is Rudolph dad by the way. :p
remembermefromcoco on November 28, 2019:
COMET IS THE BEST!!!
LLAMALOVER on November 28, 2019:
I am DANCER! (or prancer)
lia on November 24, 2019:
i never know olive was raindear
VIJAY JOSEPH CHANDRASHEKAR on November 24, 2019:
MERRY CHRISTMAS.GOD BLESS YA.
Art lover on November 23, 2019:
Paul. on November 21, 2019:
Christmas gift. Paul
Taelynn Mundy on November 16, 2019:
lex on September 24, 2019:
technically all of them were me
Alice on June 28, 2019:
Just to let everyone know I believe in Santa Claus, his elves, and his reindeer.eve though I never heard of Olive, and in the song I thought “all of”. But I still think she is an amazing reindeer just like all the others.
I AM SANTA on June 24, 2019:
Last thing from Santa cluas this year
Try not to try to catch me on the act this year because is you do me and mrs. cluas have been talking and said if you do then you will be on the naughty list forever and never come off it.
I AM SANTA on June 24, 2019:
My riendeer are getting bugs from eating too many carrots so just leave grass and a quarter of a carrot for Ruldolph this year
Thank you very much
I AM SANTA on June 24, 2019:
Olive is real but he's not famous
I AM SANTA on June 24, 2019:
Courtney and Chloe are on the good list
I AM SANTA on June 24, 2019:
Old but the actaul age number is forbbiden from saying because it is a Santa secret
Courtney on June 23, 2019:
Hey Santa how old are all of your rindeers
Some one on June 23, 2019:
I never heard of Olive
I AM SANTA on June 23, 2019:
I believe in Santa and his Riendeer because I am Santa
Katherine Saunders on June 22, 2019:
Im half Ruldolph half Olive