Lessons from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

We all know the words to the song, “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” and we all know what the main lesson in that song is: Just because you’re different does not mean that you should be shunned, and you may even have more to offer the world than all the others who shun you or make fun of you.
But the glaring lesson that we all see is that while it’s easy to discover the good in others after it is blatantly pointed out to us, the virtue in accepting others is to accept them just because they exist, not because of what they can do for us.
We wonder how Santa could have let his reindeer act that way toward the newcomer just because he was different. Did he not notice how unkind his very own reindeer were acting? And if they had been with Santa, the epitome of kindness and love, all those many long years, how could they have ever come to treat Rudolph that way in the first place?
“All of the other reindeer Used to laugh and call him names They never let poor Rudolph Join in any reindeer games”
Not everyone gets “a foggy Christmas Eve” to prove why their difference matters, and we shouldn’t play “better than thou” just because we don’t know what someone else’s special talent or gift is before we’ll let them into our circle.
Santa, being more astute at these things than reindeer (and by the way, reindeer ought not be judged by human standards) saw immediately that Rudolph was more than he appeared to be and brought it to the
attention of his reindeer team, at which point all the reindeer then immediately saw Rudolph’s value and treated him thusly.
“Then how the reindeer loved him As they shouted out with glee “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer You’ll go down in history.”
It’s easy to see the problem and the happy ending all within the confines of the song and just go along with the fun aspect of it, as children do everywhere; yet in real life, such black and white situations that can be resolved by one moment of clarity or insight or understanding rarely exist.
However, that is a song, or perhaps we can even say a Christmas fable made into a song. We do not have to live our lives based on just what one man wrote, no matter the lessons — one way or the other — within
it. Just as we ought not be pulled down by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or confused and disheartened by “Skipping Christmas,” we can always let all the fun of Christmas in while we contemplate our
own personal meaning of Christmas. We are bigger than our songs and our stories, but that does not mean we shouldn’t see the meanings within any or all of them. But we don’t have to take them so seriously that we are forced to push aside our own personal feelings and beliefs about Christmas. We know what Christmas means to us, and if we never actually got around to figuring it out, maybe it’s time we did.
We do not have to lose Santa to find Jesus, nor do we have to ignore Jesus to enjoy the North Pole and Santa’s elves. There is a reason that Christmas exists, and to ignore that spoils everything else about
this wonderful season of love and joy!
If we can all just be a little less critical of each other, taking the best of the songs and stories as lessons to inspire us, not reasons to chip apart at what brings joy to others at this time of the year, it’s very possible we may all get a little closer to discovering the real meaning of Christmas for ourself.

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