It is customary for Santa to name his starting team of reindeer by this point every year. But his announcement this year has been delayed, according to personnel in the Reindeer Department.
Santa’s reindeer have all been isolated and working out together for the better part of this week. That includes Vixen, who has been battling soreness and flexibility issues in recovering from surgery over the summer. Vixen missed the Reindeer Games this year and has not been cleared by doctors to fly for Santa.
There is a great deal of anxiety about Vixen’s situation. Santa did name the back-up team a few days ago and it is possible one of those reindeer could take her place.
That would be a historic decision and nobody at the North Pole knows exactly what the consequences are of using a new member on Santa’s team. Any of those candidates on the back-up, while classed as some of the best reindeer in the world, have yet to workout or travel with Santa’s starting team of reindeer.
Elf Benny Egan, a reindeer handler who has some knowledge of Vixen’s current workout routine, said he heard that doctors were asked by Santa to “give Vixen as much time as she needs” and that Santa was willing to wait until the hour before launch to make a decision about her role in this year’s flight.
In the meantime, the isolation area where Santa’s reindeer are is now completed “restricted access”, meaning only doctors and senior Reindeer Department personnel are allowed to see them or to observe their activities.
This is a developing story and we will continue to keep you updated.