Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon Reads “Twas The Night Before Christmas”

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon's released a video on Thursday of the governor reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Jimmy Orr

December 23, 20212 min read

Gordon book reading scaled
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon’s office on Thursday released a video of the governor reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and posted it on his Facebook page.

The governor prefaced the holiday reading by saying that it is a family tradition of the Gordon household to read the classic story written by Clement Moore.

“I encourage you to share this with children who might also enjoy it,” Gordon said.

Perhaps in an attempt to head off controversy in the social media world, Gordon did call attention to the oft-debated name of the seventh reindeer.

“For the purists out there, this book lists one of Santa’s reindeer as ‘Donder’ instead of ‘Donner,'” the governor said.

Moore’s original writing referred to the reindeer as “Dunder” — a name shared by the fictional paper company “Dunder and Mifflin” from the TV Show “The Office.”

Some Christmas historians believe that was a typo and the name should have been “Donder.”

It was later changed, historians say, because some publishers believed Moore meant “Donner” as that’s the German word for thunder.

Blitzen, incidentally, was originally Blixem — which is the German word for lightning. Thus, Thunder and Lightning.

But Blixem was later changed to Blixen to rhyme with Vixen.

When Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made his debut in 1939, the reindeer’s name in question was spelled as Donner and it has appeared to stick since then.

For example, the reindeer was referred to as Donner when a writer and part-time criminologist was making a case in 2014 that all of the other reindeers’ mockery of Rudolph’s nose should be considered a hate-crime.

“Donner and Blitzen, two prominent reindeer who may or may not have taken part in the alleged bullying [of Rudolph], were said to be cooperating with the investigation and providing details about specific instances of bullying,” Dan Koontz wrote.

If prospective viewers can put aside the heated — but so far not violent — debate over Donner’s name, then the governor’s presentation could be a nice Christmas video to watch.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.