The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 23, 2012

Can reindeer fly? Let children decide

“I hope you aren’t going to tell little children those reindeer can fly,” a lady told me when she learned friends of the museum had donated funds to sponsor reindeer at the annual Holiday Open House at the museum. As these reindeer live at Hardy’s ranch in Illinois, not the North Pole, they may not possess the aeronautical capabilities credited to their northern cousins. But children just naturally associate reindeer with flying, and an eight-hitch team from the North Pole has been a Christmas tradition for far longer than any living person can remember.

So, it only seems fair to let children make up their own minds about what reindeer can or cannot do. A response on the Internet for the simple request “flying reindeer” received more than 5 million hits, so it is a lively subject.

Flying reindeer have long been depicted in publications and advertisements. In Danville, a number of historic businesses featured them in Christmas ads, among them Woodbury Book Company, Sandusky Furniture Company, and Hacker’s Fair. An ad for Lionel trains, available at Black & Company when it was located at 31 N. Hazel St., pictured the sleigh loaded with the latest toy trains.

In a Christmas booklet distributed by Vermilion County Abstract in 1951, Santa Claus can be seen in his sleigh, being pulled by a team of reindeer in front of a full moon. The abstract company’s fine reputation was based on obtaining factual information, anything printed was carefully researched.

The timeless poem “The Night Before Christmas” credited to Clement Clark Moore, introduced the now-famous eight-hitch team of flying reindeer in the 1820s. Since that time they have been featured in numerous books, motion pictures, and television programs. They are certainly an established part of Christmas culture.

Passed down through my family is an 1800s booklet featuring Moore’s poem. It has been well used and many pages are now missing, but the centerfold, picturing the reindeer soaring with Santa’s sleigh, remains intact. The reindeer look the same as they do in current depictions, but the toys in Santa’s sleigh differ from what might be found today. Pictured are a drum, rocking horse, pull toy, dolls and a doll house. A bearskin keeps Santa warm as he soars through the winter sky.

Text Only
Local News
  • Committee OKs chicken ordinance research

    DANVILLE - A proposed chicken ordinance for the city already has its supporters. Resident Ed Strahl said he's more concerned about dangerous dogs than chickens. "I don't see much wrong with it (chickens in residents' backyards), if contained right,"

    April 23, 2014

  • New arrest in Friday's triple shooting DANVILLE -- Police have made a second arrest as part of the investigation into a triple shooting last week. Joquin Washington, 19, of Danville, was booked at the Public Safety Building jail around 9:20 p.m. Monday on preliminary charges of aggravated

    April 23, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Sunday: Domestic battery along East Main Street. Disorderly conduct in the 900 block of East Madison Street. Property damage in the 500 block of Highland Park Road. Monday: Retail theft at Mach 1, 510 N.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Friday, 9:23-9:36 a.m. -- A carbon monoxide check in the 1300 block of Harmon Street. Friday, 11:50 a.m.-12:08 p.m. -- An illegal burning in the 1600 block of North Gilbert Street. Friday, 12:28-12:45 p.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fire destroys mobile home DANVILLE -- A leaf fire cost a local man his home Tuesday afternoon west of Danville. A total of seven fire departments, led by Kickapoo Fire Protection District, responded to an out-of-control leaf fire at 16930 Vermilion River Lane. Kickapoo Assist

    April 23, 2014

  • shoes1.jpg Men urged to 'walk in her shoes' at fundraiser TILTON — To understand the issue of sexualized violence against women, men need to take a walk in their shoes — both figuratively and literally.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kindergarten pre-registration set

    April 22, 2014 2 Stories

  • Group seeks volunteers to help clean up Covington

    Alinda Dickinson and Becky Jones told city council members Monday that the Green Minds of Fountain County will be cleaning up parts of Covington on Sunday as part of the group's Earth Day Celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Walk helps crisis center

    April 22, 2014

  • Georgetown aldermen approve budget

    Aldermen approved placing the 2014 - 2015 city budget on display Monday night. City officials anticipate a deficit of a little more than $186,000.

    April 22, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet
Must Read