Santa and His reindeers are associated together in Christmas traditions. As Santa is believed to have from the far away North, what else than a reindeer drawn sledge can serve as a better carriage?
It is man's most ancient herd animal, the first animals being raised around 15,000 years ago. Up until about 12,000 years ago, reindeer grazed over a vast area of Europe. Rock paintings by primitive peoples featuring them are widespread, as are discoveries of tools made from reindeer horn. there was even a period of European prehistory in a part of France called Dordogne that is sometimes called "the civilization of reindeer." The only surviving part of such a civilization might be found in Lapland, which is the northern part of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
There are only a few thousand Lapps, but they own herds of many thousands of reindeer. From them the Lapps obtain meat, milk, hair for weaving, hides to make tents and clothing, and horn, from which they make households. They are also used to pull heavily laden sleds. It is all these multiple uses that have made reindeer so endearing to people in the North.
Caribou, the name by which the Americans are more familiar with reindeer, comes from an Indian word.