Why does Rudolph (Santa's Reindeer) have a RED NOSE?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Rudolph was first created in 1939 for Montgomery Wards' Christmas Coloring Book promotion.  He became the popular Christmas figure we see now in 1949 when the brother-in-law of the creator, Johnny Mathis made a ballad about Santa's red nosed helper.  Since then his story has been sung by millions of children and adapted into numerous stories, movies, and comics.

Part of the tale of poor Rudolph is that he posses a red nose.  This idiosyncrasy causes him much distress as his fellow reindeer tease and laugh at him.  The nose proves to be helpful on one fateful cold and snowy night when Santa, unable to navigate the weather, elicits the aid of Rudolph.  This action seals his fate in history, and teaches children everywhere not to make fun of those who are different.