You may want to swallow that eggnog or hot chocolate that's in your mouth before proceeding to the next sentence.
That's right: That species of Arctic deer best known for being Santa's beast of burden of choice is 100% genuine.
Merry Christmas to your brain.
Now, you may be asking yourself "why are you telling me something I already know"? Well, that's because if Twitter is any gauge of what people do or don't know, there's a good chance you don't already know this.
In fact, as Aaron Cohen of Unlikely Words points out, searching Twitter on the phrase "reindeers are real" brings up hundreds of tweets from people who neither know that reindeer are real nor how to properly pluralize the word reindeer.
And as to the theory that reindeer are named so after their connection to Father Christmas, that, as it happens, is false.
Here's this from The Free Dictionary:
Although Saint Nick uses reins on his reindeer and reindeer are used to pull sleds in Lapland and northern Siberia, the word reindeer has nothing to do with reins. The element -deer is indeed our word deer, but the rein- part is borrowed from another language, specifically from the Scandinavian languages spoken by the chiefly Danish and Norwegian invaders and settlers of England from the 9th to the 11th century. Even though the Old Icelandic language in which much of Old Norse literature is written is not the same variety of Old Norse spoken by these settlers of England, it is close enough to give us an idea of the words that were borrowed into English. Thus we can cite the Old Icelandic word hreinn, which means "reindeer," as the source of the first part of the English word. The word reindeer is first recorded in Middle English in a work composed before 1400.
See? Even if you already knew that reindeer were real you still came away from this post having learned something new. And that's what Christmas is all about. Right? No idea. I'm Jewish.
are reindeers real or are they just regular deer..— Salina ♔ (@salijuana) December 20, 2012
I can't believe I just found out reindeers are real! My world makes sense now.— Rachel (@RachelGambeezy) December 18, 2012
I still can't believe reindeers are real animals tbh— Ella Walker-Hunt (@ellawalkerhunt) December 16, 2012
wait are reindeers real— name (@snookidough) December 16, 2012
Reindeers are real :O Woah..— Cock Block Crusaders (@Maria_Cullivan) December 13, 2012
Reindeers...I genuinely used to think they were not real, just in films. Realisation that its just flying reindeers that are made up....— Ellie Robinson (@ellierobinson91) December 14, 2012
[tweets via Twitter, screengrab via YouTube]