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ON DASHER! ON DANCER!

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When Santa Claus first appeared in the United States, he drove an ordinary wagon pulled by horses, not reindeer.

The modern image of Santa sprang from the imagination of writer Washington Irving, who also gave us the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. In an 1809 book, "Knickerbocker's History," Santa rode in a horse-drawn wagon.Irving's idea of Santa was forever changed in 1822, when W. Clement Moore wrote his "A Visit From St. Nicholas." Moore even provided names for the reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.