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December 18 – Reindeer

The connection of Reindeer to our Christmas tradition and symbols is linked directly with the symbol of Santa’s sleigh.  It was that same poem – “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” that introduced Reindeer to our Christmas storytelling.  While at first the use of Reindeer seems a bit random – but a bit of study and research about Reindeer reveals that the author of the poem knew a few things about these creatures.

Reindeer are found in the Northern parts of the world where it is very difficult to live – yet they are superior survivalist in their harsh climate.  Their hooves and foot pads change as the seasons change to keep them sure footed at all times.  They can dig in the snow and ice to find food and are able to run up to 60 miles an hour – which seems like a great feat for animals weighing 200-300 pounds!  This swift speed probably gives the Reindeer the appearance of flying across the earth.  On top of their speed these animals can also travel 3,000 miles in one year.

The traits of the Reindeer have made them revered in some Northern cultures.  But what can they help us remember this Christmas?  With this knowledge I have a new appreciation for these marvelous creatures.  They remind me that we all have a role to play in bringing the good news of the birth of Jesus.  We can be swift and graceful to share the story of Jesus birth and to bring good gifts to those in need.

With Children:  Hang the #18 tag with a Reindeer.  Look at some pictures of real reindeer.  What do you notice about them?  At Christmas the reindeer pull the sleigh for Santa.  What can you do to be helpful this year to get ready for Christmas?  Choose a role for everyone to take this year.

With Teens:  What is your favorite trait that a Reindeer has?  Why do you think God gave them that trait?  What trait do you have that can be used to bring the good news about Jesus’ birth to those who don’t know?