Day Eight: Rudolph and Six? Flying Reindeer
Tonight my boys and I participated in a holiday tradition - we cuddled up on the couch under a warm, flannel blanket and watched "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." I've watched Rudolph (and A Charlie Brown Christmas) every December for as long as I can remember and I enjoy sharing my tradition with my boys. Especially now that my four year old is old enough to get excited in anticipation of the "big night." All day today he kept asking me when it was going to be dark because Rudolph and Frosty were on tonight.
I enjoyed watching Rudolph - rudimentary animation and mismatched audio - but there were a few things that stuck out this go round that I don't remember from my childhood. For example, when Rudolph runs away from home and his father goes to look for him; his mother also volunteers to go and look but is rebuffed with the line "No! This is man's work!" Uh, excuse me?
Then there is the part where Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster fall over the edge of the cliff. The narrator comments that the friends are sad at losing Yukon, but they realize "that it's time to get the women home to Christmastown." And why is that exactly?
While the feminist in me is agitated, I can put that aside - after all it is Christmas time and it's a classic. Things were different back in the day, right? It's a tradition and it wouldn't be the same if it were some updated, politically correct version. However, the following glaring error I'm not sure I can forgive.
In the final scenes where Santa goes to the Island of Misfit Toys and then delivers those toys on Christmas Eve, Rudolph is leading the team of flying reindeer - according to the song he should be leading Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. That's EIGHT flying reindeer; count them again if you're not sure. But tonight I realized that there are only SIX reindeer and Rudolph makes SEVEN.
So much for the classics. (And btw, there's a doll in a pink dress on the Island of Misfit toys and for years now it has bothered me that I can't figure out what makes her a misfit. Is there anybody out there who knows? If so, please tell me.)
But this is a post about what I am grateful for, so tonight I am grateful that I could share one of my childhood traditions with my own children - sexist remarks, bad math and all :)