In 2012 I wrote a set of stories explaining how each of Santa’s reindeer got their names. Chapter 7 was dedicated to Donner. Its a little silly but its Christmas. Here’s an updated version. Enjoy!
Donner was named for his father George Donner who disappeared inside the famed Michigan Triangle while flying over Lake Michigan in 1937. George Sr. was on a mission to retrieve coal from Erie PA to be used to fill the stockings of naughty little children.
Santa didn’t give out a lot of coal, most kids straightened up come Christmas time, but there were always a few knuckleheads who would only learn their lessons the hard way. Normally they would only have to make a coal run every 50 years but their reserves were low and Santa liked to have plenty on hand.
George Donner was one of Santa’s top reindeer and his navigator. He was smart with a keen sense of direction. Santa knew he could trust him to make this trip. Donner chose two lesser skilled reindeer to travel with and readied their small cargo sleigh. Santa picked an up and coming elf to accompany Donner as second in command. Everybody knew who was in charge, Flight Officer George Donner, navigator, and flying reindeer extraordinaire.
But the team didn’t make it to Erie Pennsylvania and they didn’t make it back to the North Pole. No distress signals were ever sent, they simply disappeared, never to be heard from again.
Mrs. Donner never forgot her first husband and how could she, his son lives on with his name and his skills. The exceptional, George Donner Junior, navigator, for Santa’s sleigh.