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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s Lesson on Individualism
Robert Jarvis

In 1964, NBC aired what would become one of the most beloved Christmas TV specials that has withstood the test of time with incredible stop-motion animation, sets, and colourful characters, all having been enjoyed by generations.

The story and one song in particular, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” teach us about how being an individualist and thinking differently from the crowd can often lead to a better outcome.

We follow the story about Donner, Santa’s most trusted sleigh leader, and his wife when they celebrate the arrival of a new fawn which they name Rudolph. When it is discovered that Rudolph’s nose glows red, Donner becomes scared of what others will say, and tries to hide his son’s deformity.

At the same time we meet one of Santa’s elves, Hermey, who is more interested in dentistry than in making toys. 

His boss fires him when he doesn’t keep up with his co-workers. Rudolph and Hermey accidentally cross paths when they’re running away from being rejected, mocked, and pushed away by their companions.

The two join in a delightful duet titled “Misfits,” in which they state that their own decisions are best and that not fitting in is not a bad thing. A particular phrase that demonstrates this in the lyrics is:

We may be different from the rest

Who decides the test

Of what is really best?

This message is being forgotten amongst many of us, as governments and the school system try to stop us from thinking for ourselves.

If you don’t have the newest iPhone, then you’re considered not worth it. Many young people of today are just reacting to others and taking in the latest trends. Peer pressure and false methods being taught by teachers push youngsters away from listening to parents and the wisdom of following a steady course in life.

At the end of the special when the Abominable Snow Monster enters, all the others shy away except those with independent thought. In the end, we see that Rudolph is successful in life as “he goes down in history.”

Before you watch new Christmas movies that lack a significant moral or life message, go back to the classics and you might find that they have a deeper than expected effect on your whole family, apart from being a magical experience.

Merry Christmas!



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