Christmas is the best season of the year.  It is early October and I am already itching for everything to turn green and red.

My mother in law always says that Jesus is born again in someone’s heart each day so I should feel free to celebrate the Christmas season all year-long.  Isn’t that a great way to look at it?

To me, Christmas is just that.  A feeling.  A season of all the good feelings.  I try to make sure that everything we do during the season brings happiness, joy, and a loving and giving spirit.

Family Christmas Traditions

Since having our first daughter my husband and I have wanted to create special things we could do together each year.  Something we could look forward to.  Christmas cookies, visiting a live nativity, checking out all the decorations as the Disney hotels.

The one tradition we have always refused to jump on the bandwagon about was the Elf on the Shelf.

We neither understand the appeal or want to tie ourselves down to that kind of commitment each night of the Christmas season.  Plus, he’s creepy.  And, I try to teach my kids to be nice and sweet and I certainly don’t want them misbehaving and claiming that it was okay for the Elf so it should be okay for them!

No thank you!

Daily Commitments with the Elf on the Shelf

Now, the past few years we have done an advent calendar thing with the kids which they love.  But really it just involves them moving a little-felt character into the Nativity scene each day so it doesn’t really involve that much commitment.

I researched a few more alternatives to the Elf as well which you can find in my post HERE.

This year though I think I have found the PERFECT alternative.

An Elf on the Shelf Alternative – Reindeer in Here

The premise of this Holiday Tradition is entirely focused on your child’s experiences during the season.  The Reindeer arrives on the first day of December and stays until Christmas day.

Your child names their new friend and takes he or she everywhere with them during December.  Enjoying the season with them, getting to know them and reporting their activities back to Santa so he can know them better as well.

This idea is more than just making sure you are nice and not naughty.  It is about sharing themselves and their experiences for a season.

I love it.

Totally takes the pressure off me from having to plan something every day.  Plus I’m not constantly nagging that Santa will see if they aren’t being nice.  They have their own little reminder to carry around each day.

A Teaching Toy

Reindeer in here is also a unique little-stuffed animal.  He has one antler that is smaller than the other.  Making him quite different from all the other reindeer.  He teaches children that we are all unique and special in our own way.  He teaches them that we should celebrate these differences in ourselves and in each other.

Honestly, it is those kinds of qualities that I want my children to remember each holiday season.

We like to do shoe boxes for the elderly, military stationed overseas and underprivileged children.  These people live lives that are different from ours but we should still be sympathetic, empathetic and kind.

I donate bows to the Pediatric Oncology Unit each year because my daughter is a cancer survivor and it’s just a place that is close to my heart.  These children are unique but still so so special.  Every child is special in their own way.

Christmas Gifts From the Heart

What if we all spent time this season teaching our kids that being unique and different is something to be embraced and celebrated?  Instead of teaching them that destroying our homes and making messes with the Elf is what this season is about?

What kind of difference could we make?

Award Winning Toy

Reindeer in Here has won so many awards in the past two years.  From Moms Choice Awards to receiving the National Parenting Centers seal of approval.  The Reindeer has been featured in People, Newsweek and US magazines.  And he has ranked as the #1 best seller and #1 new release on Amazon.

This toy is the real deal.

Where to buy

Reindeer in Here is sold in various independent retail locations which you can find a list of on their website HERE.

Y’all know how much I LOVE Amazon, and yes they are sold there too.  

If you are considering adding a Reindeer to your family I would purchase EARLY.  They sold out so early last year that I had to wait until this year to get one!

Our Experience So Far

Reindeer in Here creator Adam Reed was kind enough to send us our own Reindeer to check out early this year.  We received ours several weeks ago, and my husband not knowing what was in the package opened it with the kids.

Well, needless to say, our Reindeer Cocoa, was unable to go back into the box to await the normal arrival time of December 1st.  Cocoa goes everywhere with us these days.  Which is pretty funny watching my daughter carry this Christmas Reindeer around a pumpkin patch.

Cocoa waits in my daughter’s car seat while she is in school each day and she greets him excitedly when I pick her up.

Cocoa has been a real hit, and I’m sure I will be needing to get a 2nd (and 3rd) Reindeer for my other two daughters pretty soon as well.  For now, my kids are okay with sharing him but I look forward to the day that my little ones request their own Reindeer.  This is a holiday tradition I am more than happy to participate in.

View the full article here.