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All of the Mother Reindeer

...used to pull the Solstice sleigh. They never let the winter triumph on the darkest day! 

Christmas shopping in ancient times

Long before Baby Jesus and Santa Claus, Eurasians and Arctic Americans celebrated the Winter Solstice with lights, feasting, songs, indoor greenery, and tales of gift-givers flying through the night sky. Many of these celestial gift-givers were female, such as Befana the Witch (pictured below right, who still drops presents on good Italian children on the Epiphany); the Hellenistic goddess Baby Joy, daughter of Cupid and Psyche; and the Neolithic Mother Deer figures.


Gather Victoria provides this wonderful overview of Mother Reindeer mythology and imagery. She is the mythic ancestor of Rudolph and all related tales of flying Christmas reindeer. 

This holiday season is rich with beautiful stories and fascinating history, all the way back to prehistoric times. People around the earth have always celebrated this time of the year in diverse ways. Even within the little cluster of European cultures, there are many layers of religion, myth, and tradition that have contributed ingredients to this holiday potpourri we now call Christmas.

For a big bowl of nutty tales about the reasons for the season, please explore the Magic Nutshell's


Happy Solstice!

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