Christmas Mountains

Canadian mountain range
47°10′N 66°40′W / 47.167°N 66.667°W / 47.167; -66.667GeographyLocationNorthumberland County, New BrunswickParent rangeAppalachian MountainsTopo mapNTS 21O2 Serpentine LakeClimbingEasiest routeHike

The Christmas Mountains are a series of rounded peaks in northern New Brunswick, Canada, at the headwaters of North Pole Stream and the Little Southwest Miramichi River, west of Big Bald Mountain, and south of Mount Carleton. The mountains, in part, separate the Miramichi River watershed from the watersheds of the Serpentine River and the Nepisiguit River.

In 1964, Arthur F. Wightman named the range and peaks after noting that the previously unnamed peaks lay near the source of North Pole Stream, hence this sub-range of the Appalachians has been named after the Christian holiday of Christmas.

The ten peaks are:[1]

  • North Pole Mountain (690 m (2,264 ft)) (47°11′39″N 66°40′00″W / 47.19417°N 66.66667°W / 47.19417; -66.66667 (North Pole Mountain))
  • Mount St. Nicholas (625 m (2,051 ft)) (47°10′9″N 66°40′24″W / 47.16917°N 66.67333°W / 47.16917; -66.67333 (Mount St. Nicholas))
  • Mount Dasher (750 m (2,461 ft)) (47°11′48″N 66°44′14″W / 47.19667°N 66.73722°W / 47.19667; -66.73722 (Mount Dasher))
  • Mount Dancer (670 m (2,198 ft)) (47°09′53″N 66°42′51″W / 47.16472°N 66.71417°W / 47.16472; -66.71417 (Mount Dancer))
  • Mount Prancer (580 m (1,903 ft)) (47°8′00″N 66°40′56″W / 47.13333°N 66.68222°W / 47.13333; -66.68222 (Mount Prancer))
  • Mount Vixen (650 m (2,133 ft)) (47°8′15″N 66°43′28″W / 47.13750°N 66.72444°W / 47.13750; -66.72444 (Mount Vixen))
  • Mount Comet (550 m (1,804 ft)) (47°7′00″N 66°38′36″W / 47.11667°N 66.64333°W / 47.11667; -66.64333 (Mount Comet))
  • Mount Cupid (530 m (1,739 ft)) (47°9′01″N 66°36′36″W / 47.15028°N 66.61000°W / 47.15028; -66.61000 (Mount Cupid))
  • Mount Donder (730 m (2,395 ft)) (47°10′47″N 66°36′10″W / 47.17972°N 66.60278°W / 47.17972; -66.60278 (Mount Donder))
  • Mount Blitzen (670 m (2,198 ft)) (47°10′50″N 66°37′50″W / 47.18056°N 66.63056°W / 47.18056; -66.63056 (Mount Blitzen))

The eight latter names commemorate Santa Claus's reindeer as named in the 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. The poem reads in part:

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder[2] and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

Although a ninth reindeer was later added to Santa Claus' team in the popular 1949 Christmas song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", no peak was named for Rudolph.[3][4][5][6]

Clearcutting controversy

Until the mid-1990s, the Christmas Mountains remained untouched by industrial forestry operations. As Crown land, the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources administered the property as part of a vast swath of forest across the north-central part of the province. With few roads leading into the area, the Christmas Mountains maintained an old growth Acadian forest that was unique to northeastern North America.

New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources leased the property comprising the Christmas Mountains to a U.S. owned pulp and paper company Repap (the name is the word "paper" reversed). Repap began building logging roads into the region around 1995 and began an aggressive clearcutting operation over the next several years, despite numerous vocal and radical protests by New Brunswick-based environmentalists who feared the consequences of habitat destruction and the loss of the old growth forest. Despite the efforts, the Christmas Mountains old growth forest was largely logged by the end of the decade.[7][8][9][10]


  1. ^ Precise locations estimated from Google Earth, maximum elevations from Toporama, Natural Resources Canada
  2. ^ 'Donner' was originally spelt 'Donder', but has changed over time.
  3. ^ Rayburn, A. (1975) Geographical Names of New Brunswick. "Toponymy Study 2". Surveys and Mapping Branch, Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, Ottawa.
  4. ^ Geographical Names of Canada Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ New Brunswick "What's in a Name"
  6. ^ New Brunswick Atlas, Second Edition
  7. ^ "Fight Grows to Save New Brunswick's Last Old Growth Forest". Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  8. ^ Duplisea, Bradford (October 1996). "Why The Christmas Mountains Should Be Saved". Archived from the original on May 21, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  9. ^ 16 Hotspots for Boreal Forest Conservation
  10. ^ 1996 Rio Report Card - New Brunswick Archived 2007-08-06 at the Wayback Machine, Sierra Club of Canada
  • v
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  • Blue Christmas
  • Boxing Day
  • Children's Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Saint Nicholas Day
  • St. Stephen's Day
  • Sol Invictus
  • Yule
In folklore
Companions of
Saint Nicholas
TraditionsBy countryMusicOther mediaIn
societyFood and
Meat and fish
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Film and television
  • The Night Before Christmas (1905)
  • The Night Before Christmas (1933)
  • The Spirit of Christmas (1953)
  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974)
  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1977)
Musical adaptations
  • The Night Before Christmas (2006)
  • v
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Mountains of New Brunswick