James Whitbrook: "The Doctor Who Christmas Special is firmly entrenched as a holiday tradition now - but the arrival of a Christmas episode from Alisa Stern's Doctor Puppet is just as exciting, as The Puppet 12th Doctor and Clara land on a Planet that only appears on Christmas Day."
At this time of year when I hear folks singing Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer and children are waiting for Santa Claus, it prompts me to pause and consider one of the most successful transmedia franchises in history.
How Santa's ninth reindeer made his on-screen debut.
In 1939, Robert L. May conceived of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in a poem, published in a booklet by iconic department store Montgomery Ward. But “Santa’s 9th Reindeer” didn’t become etched into the nation’s collective imagination until May’s brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, adapted Rudolph into a song in 1949. (What makes the story all the more curious and poetic is that Marks was Jewish, yet he created some of the most popular Christmas songs we know today.)
On the 24th of December every year children around the world put out milk and cookies in the hopes of luring a magic fat man into their home who will leave presents behind before sneaking into the house next door. How did such an odd tradition begin?
Santa already is piling up big numbers on social networking sites this season, so the volunteer Santa-trackers at NORAD are bracing for tens of thousands of calls and emails when their operations center goes live on Christmas Eve.
Kids can video chat with Santa, follow him on Twitter or enlist NORAD to track his every move online. And yet in many ways, technology may be making it harder for parents to keep their children believing in the jolly old elf.
An everyday location. A sudden burst of inappropriate activity. Bemused spectators pointing and capturing the scene on their cellphones. Some of those same bemused spectators turning into performers. You know the drill.
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