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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

V is for Vixen

Friday, December 15, 2023

Some traditions add deep felt meaning to Christmas. Other traditions add joy and merriment. In the list of 26 Christmas traditions, one tradition per letter of the alphabet, V is for Vixen. Guaranteed to bring smiles just by saying the name Vixen. 

is for Vixen. 

Reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh was first mentioned and illustrated in a children's poem, "Old Santeclaus with Much Delight," in New York in 1821. Only one reindeer pulled Santa's sleigh in an accompanying lithograph. 

Two years later, in Clement C. Moore's poem, "A Visit from Saint Nicholas," eight tiny reindeer with names pulled Santa's sleigh to deliver toys. 

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; 

"Now DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN! 

On COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!..." 

From there, reindeer became a Christmas tradition. Live reindeer for children to visit, illustrations of Santa with his sleigh and deer, pillows decorated with deer, deer figurines as holiday decor, deer Christmas ornaments, and antlers in floral arrangements are all part of Christmas. 

A majestic gold reindeer with a fruit wreath makes a grand Christmas centerpiece on buffets, on dining tables, on entry chest of drawers, or lying on a fireplace hearth. 

Silver metal reindeer blend well with crystal candlesticks for Christmas arrangements. 

A blue embroidered deer on a pillow cover updates everyday decor to Christmas decor in a non-traditional holiday color. No mistaking the season even though the color is not red or green. 

Yes, it's a Christmas mantel. A large silver deer candelabra placed with crystal trees says Christmas. 

Reindeer are a classic Christmas tradition. Say any reindeer name, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, VIXEN, Comet, Cupid, Donner, or Blitzen, and Christmas instantly comes to mind. Add a deer to a home's decor, and the home is decorated for Christmas. 


Different families celebrate Christmas with traditions for different reasons. For some the meaning of the season is built around their religious faith, for some the meaning is the focus on family gatherings, and for some the meaning of the season stems from the heritage of their community. 

My wish for you is to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your loved ones relishing old traditions or creating new traditions.