Interesting, too, that I learn of it via an Indie Folk tune from Indiana's Lovely Houses (David Campbell).
But, just for kicks and giggles, I decided to look around a little bit and see what I could see. And, as it turns out, there's actually been a lot of scholarly work done of this very theory of the derivation of Santa Claus and the reindeer. Going back several decades, at least. This, for example, is a fairly recent piece written by Holly McWhorter, but I link you to it because it lays it out in simple non-archeological English. Things that make you go 'shroom. Kids, don't try this at home. And I mean it. Just enjoy "Siberian Solstice". It's free at Bandcamp.