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