On the eighth day of Christmas my Bavarian friend gave to me: eight romping reindeer.

In a sign that all things come full circle, including dungarees, the eight reindeer that were first penned in 1823 in the USA, have become a part of Christmas here in Bavaria. From  accordion players in the tiled tunnels of certain underground stations belting out ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’, to the Märchenwald (enchanted forest) Christkindlmarkt in the Munich’s Residence where artificial models of them can be found, reindeer have become synonymous with Christmas.

Two of the reindeer in that original piece, in a nod to their German heritage, were given the names Donner and Blitzen (Thunder and Lightning).

Speaking of Rudolph, our number nine of Bavarian traditions, he has a very German sounding name. If the reindeer were completely American, he’d be a Randall or Robert. As an aside, only the Germans would be smart enough to have a contingency plan like Rudolph.

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Michael V. Owens
Michael Owens was born in San Diego, California, but is a product of the Orlando, Florida, school system. This gave him a love of the ocean and its bounty, a rudimentary education, and a great swing for both baseball (then), and golf (now). He followed his heart and received a diploma in Humanities, which did him absolutely no good in the USA. He didn’t choose Munich; it chose him. Despite his adoration for history, Renaissance art, and medieval philosophy, Michael would prefer to see the world in 2150, rather than in 1150. But it is close.