24 December 2009

Happy 60th (or 70th) Birthday, Rudolph!

I've never had any difficulty integrating the non-religious aspects of Christmas with the proper meaning of the celebration of the birth of our Saviour. Santa Claus for me as a child was someone who brought gifts because we were thanking God for the birth of Jesus Christ, God who became Man.

The Christmas before I made my First Holy Communion on 20 May 1950 was the first when Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer made his appearance in song. It was also the last Christmas of my Auntie Madge, a younger sister of my mother who died the following 3 February aged only 26, still single. Mark Steyn gives the whole history of Rudolph here. He tells us how the origin of the story in 1939 is linked with a personal tragedy in the life of Bob May, the creator of Rudolph, in trying to explain to his little daughter Barbara why her mommy was 'different' from other mommies. Evelyn, Bob May's wife and Barbara's mother, was dying from cancer.

The video has the original recording by Gene Autry.

May Rudolph be around 100 years from now!

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