All Posts   Posted:   December 3, 2019 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

It began with a small event, years ago, when we thought it would be a fun addition to our holiday season to partner with a local reindeer farm and bring a few animals to the garden centers for the weekend.

Since that first event, we have continued to work with that same family farm and their lovely herd of domesticated reindeer. Although the event has now grown in popularity and expanded to include Santa, food carts, face painting, and more family fun, the spirit remains the same. It’s all about Reindeer Magic!

For most of the year, the reindeer at the farm spend their time eating, relaxing, and enjoying pasture time, but as the Christmas season approaches, their schedule gets pretty full with guest appearances all over the state! People of all ages marvel at their beauty and enjoy getting the chance to see these unique animals up close. The reindeer handlers know the animals’ personalities very well and treat them with the same kindness we use with our own pets; humans and reindeer have been working together for more than 5,000 years! They might look similar to Caribou at first glance, but these domesticated reindeer have evolved along a different path from their Caribou cousins. Similar to a cow or horse, reindeer spend most of their time either eating or lying down with their friends in a herd. Both male and female reindeer grow and shed their antlers every year and each individual animal has their own unique antler shape and design. 

Several years ago during this event, I was witness to some real “Christmas Magic”. A group of children, maybe 9-10 years old, had gathered around the reindeer pen and were enjoying watching the animals when one boy noticed an older gentleman sitting nearby—he had white hair, a white beard, and glasses, and to keep warm he had wrapped the demonstration reindeer hide around his shoulders. As the one boy pointed the man out to the other children, their faces lit up one by one, and before long none of the children could keep from staring at him. Whispers went around the pen that surely the man was Santa himself, keeping watch over his trusty herd of reindeer. And suddenly, most of the children were on their best behavior!

It is easy to find ourselves busy and stressed at this time of year, but it is also easy to find small joys and moments of true holiday magic if we just take some time to enjoy it!

It began with a small event, years ago, when we thought it would be a fun addition to our holiday season to partner with a local reindeer farm and bring a few animals to the garden centers for the weekend.

Since that first event, we have continued to work with that same family farm and their lovely herd of domesticated reindeer. Although the event has now grown in popularity and expanded to include Santa, food carts, face painting, and more family fun, the spirit remains the same. It’s all about Reindeer Magic!

For most of the year, the reindeer at the farm spend their time eating, relaxing, and enjoying pasture time, but as the Christmas season approaches, their schedule gets pretty full with guest appearances all over the state! People of all ages marvel at their beauty and enjoy getting the chance to see these unique animals up close. The reindeer handlers know the animals’ personalities very well and treat them with the same kindness we use with our own pets; humans and reindeer have been working together for more than 5,000 years! They might look similar to Caribou at first glance, but these domesticated reindeer have evolved along a different path from their Caribou cousins. Similar to a cow or horse, reindeer spend most of their time either eating or lying down with their friends in a herd. Both male and female reindeer grow and shed their antlers every year and each individual animal has their own unique antler shape and design. 

Several years ago during this event, I was witness to some real “Christmas Magic”. A group of children, maybe 9-10 years old, had gathered around the reindeer pen and were enjoying watching the animals when one boy noticed an older gentleman sitting nearby—he had white hair, a white beard, and glasses, and to keep warm he had wrapped the demonstration reindeer hide around his shoulders. As the one boy pointed the man out to the other children, their faces lit up one by one, and before long none of the children could keep from staring at him. Whispers went around the pen that surely the man was Santa himself, keeping watch over his trusty herd of reindeer. And suddenly, most of the children were on their best behavior!

It is easy to find ourselves busy and stressed at this time of year, but it is also easy to find small joys and moments of true holiday magic if we just take some time to enjoy it!