It is well-known that Santa Claus delivers presents to good boys and girls on Christmas. The traditional understanding of Santa is that, as Maud McKnight Lindsay explained in 1913, he “rides a sleigh drawn by tiny reindeer with bells on their harnesses.” However, on a recent walk through the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill, I came across a scene that challenged this traditional understanding of Mr. Claus.

(Note: I took all three photos on December 19, 2021, with the Open Camera App on my Teracube 2e phone. Victor V. Gurbo re-touched the photos for publication.)

An inflatable Santa Claus Christmas van seen in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

There’s a reindeer in the window of the Christmas van. Who is that peeking out?

An inflatable Santa Claus Christmas van seen in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

Santa Claus!

This was one of the most creative inflatable decorations that I have come across. Santa opened and closed the door to the Christmas van every 5-10 seconds. Do note, however, that the reindeer in the window does not appear to be Rudolph. Rudolph has a red nose. Where is Rudolph? Some around these parts say that Rudolph is a car.

This inflatable decoration scene had some action happening off camera (although not nearly as much happening as a scene I saw in Gowanus) to the right:

An inflatable Woodstock, Charlie Brown, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus van seen in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

From left to right, we have Sally Brown (sadly just outside the shot), Woodstock, Charlie Brown, and Frosty the Snowman in a “Baby It’s Cold Outside” shirt. For whatever it is worth, it was not cold outside on December 19, 2021. It was somewhere in the area of 50-55 degrees.

When this article goes live, Santa will already be on his Christmas delivery route. Will he be in a van or a flying sleigh? While one Brooklyn family made a compelling case for a Santa van, I am inclined to think that the reindeer-drawn flying sleigh is more likely given the limitations associated with traveling on land from the North Pole.