Santa trades in Sleigh for a Prius; Reindeer move on to new lives, new careers in the big apple


Despite the fact that Christmas is long past, New Yorkers are experiencing reindeer sightings all over the city. Turns out, an equipment upgrade at the North Pole has led to unexpected - and welcome - career changes for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.

According to an announcement issued by the North Pole, in early December Santa came to the realization that there might be a better option than his sleigh for spreading holiday cheer across the globe - a Toyota Prius.

'I realized that not only does the Prius have lower emissions and better mileage than the reindeer, but it also has plenty of room for presents,' noted Santa. 'It just made sense - for me, the elves, Mrs. Claus and for the good of the planet. I got a great deal and purchased the Prius a week before Christmas. It was too late in the game to use my new wheels to deliver toys to girls and boys this year, but in the long run I knew it meant a significantly reduced role for the reindeer - and they realized that this year would be their last Christmas carrying my sleigh. I was truly sad to see them go.'

While this would seem to be tough news for the 'antlered eight' to swallow, the famous reindeer couldn't be happier. As a group and as individuals, they've admitted that they were ready for a change.

'We hope people realize that this is actually a win-win situation for both Santa and us,' said Cupid. 'I think I speak for all the reindeer in saying that, while we loved helping the big man every December, pulling his sleigh year after year has not been the most inspiring career path. Each of us has our own aspirations and we are looking at this as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and follow the dreams we've had since we were calves.'

'To be honest, this break from Santa's sleigh means I have a clean slate, and can do what I want to do,' added Donner. 'And I can tell you one thing for sure - next year I won't have to work during the holidays!'

New York - Here We Come: Reindeer Sightings Jump in Tri-State Area
Recognizing the career opportunities present in the Big Apple, each reindeer has moved from the North Pole to the big city - and New Yorkers are already seeing a lot of the hoofed ones hustling around town.

'It's obvious from the reports we're getting that - like many other New Yorkers who have faced similar job set-backs - each of the reindeer are aggressively pursuing new careers that are suited to their personal interests and skills,' observed a well-known gossip columnist, who noted that the reindeer have become even bigger celebrities since relocating to the city that never sleeps. 'We're hearing of various sightings - reported by everyday New Yorkers and by the paparazzi - which make it clear that the reindeers' New Year's resolutions are to chalk this up as nothing more than a smart car choice by Santa, and a golden opportunity for them. They are obviously excited to move on to the next chapter of their lives.'

According to eyewitness reports - the reindeer are doing the following:

  • Always the most athletic of the reindeer, DASHER is a personal trainer, helping people all over New York shed those post-holiday pounds and build lean muscle.
  • DANCER has found his true calling in interpretational dance. He has periodically been seen in Washington Square Park displaying his skills.
  • Having realized she has a knack for sales, PRANCER has already made some inroads into the tough Manhattan real estate scene. While selling property these days isn't easy, she says, 'What doesn't break your antlers makes you stronger.'
  • VIXEN has headed to the streets with a new food truck called Vixen's Mixins. Word on those same streets is that Vixen's truck has been making appearances in Midtown where she is serving homemade gourmet cookies and other treats.
  • Transporting Santa's presents has been COMET's duty for years, so transitioning into the transportation sector seemed like a logical choice. Comet is currently waging a campaign to be elected Chief of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). A number of commuters have spotted Comet at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal passing out flyers in support of his campaign.
  • CUPID has become a painter. The art community is anxiously awaiting his first collection, Impressions by Cupid, which is rumored to be scheduled for display in a New York gallery soon.
  • The written word has been DONNER's siren song. His new offering, entitled 'Taking Flight - One Reindeer's Story,' will be available soon in stores and online. Donner says, 'The long nights of flying around the world to deliver presents certainly prepared me for the late nights I've spent writing.'
  • Claiming he was 'born to rock,' BLITZEN has decided to pursue his life-long dream of becoming a musician. Industry insiders report that he is recording his first EP, Rein Supreme, at a Manhattan studio. The album is expected to be released in Spring of 2011.

Follow the Reindeer Online; Raise Money For NYC Career Development Program
The Greater New York Toyota Dealers Association (GNYTDA) – aware that Santa bought a Prius - was understandably concerned about what would happen to the reindeer. Upon hearing the reindeers' inspiring stories, the GNYTDA decided to document their adventures on video - and help raise money in support of the New York-based SUNY Levin Institute, which conducts JumpStart NYC, an innovative career transition program. JumpStart NYC helps out-of-work professionals in New York develop new skills, sample the environment at small, entrepreneurial companies and non-profits, and create new networks in the entrepreneurial sector - in many cases creating new career paths and opportunities, and sometimes starting their own new businesses through the affiliated FastTrac program.

New Yorkers interested in learning about the trials and tribulations of eight antlered animals as they tackle new jobs and a new life in the concrete jungle can watch these videos on their YouTube channel at For every person viewing this footage on YouTube during the months of January and February, GNYTDA will donate 25 cents to the Levin Institute's JumpStart NYC program, with a potential total donation of $15,000.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

About the 'Life After Santa' Program
'Life After Santa' is a creative marketing program being conducted by Greater New York Toyota Dealers Association to generate consumer awareness of the Toyota Prius, and to support local job training and career development programs that are helping New Yorkers during these difficult economic times. The program leverages real-life interactions with the public, online video, blogs, websites and social media to tell the reindeers' stories and create word-of-mouth excitement about the Prius, which has delivered superior fuel economy and ultra-low emissions to more than one million owners worldwide for more than 10 years.

About Levin Institute of the State University of New York
The Levin Institute of the State University of New York supports New York's and the nation's economic and social vitality through innovative and competitive responses to the challenges of today's global economy. Learn more at

JumpStart NYC is a proven, three-month educational program to help out-of-work professionals apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities in opportunities at small, entrepreneurial companies. Included is a week-long educational program, a ten-week action-learning project and ongoing mentoring, coaching and networking sessions. Offered at no charge to New York City residents, JumpStart NYC was developed by The Levin Institute (SUNY) under support from the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Learn more at:

Levin also runs the Kauffman FastTrac program, helping entrepreneurs develop the skills needed to start, manage and grow a successful business. Learn more at

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