Content: On Christmas Eve, when her kids were young, D mixed up glitter and oats and called it “reindeer food.” Her children would sprinkle the mixture on the front yard, and repeat the following: “Sprinkle on the lawn at night. The moon’s light will make it sparkle bright. As Santa’s sleigh flies and roams, this will guide the reindeer to your home.”
Background: D was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1963. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1981. She raised three daughters in Atlanta in the 1990s and 2000s.
Context: This story was told to me over a phone call. I found the variations online.
Analysis: After I spoke to D, I found several different variations of the saying that goes with reindeer food. Below are a few examples.
- Make a wish and close your eyes tight. Then sprinkle it on your lawn tonight. As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam, this food will guide them to your home.
- Come December 24th as Santa flies here from the North, here’s what you do, it isn’t hard ~ just sprinkle this stuff in your yard…the sparkles draw old Santa near and oats attract his reindeer…then you just wait ~ they’re on their way.
- Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight. The moonlight will make it sparkle bright. As the reindeer fly and roam, this will guide them to your home.
I found it interesting that all the different poems that go along with the reindeer food use some of the same words: sprinkle, sparkle, flies. Additionally, I found that some websites called it “reindeer dust” instead of “reindeer food.” The recipe seemed to be about the same, although some substituted sprinkles for glitter.