Every parent wants to give their child a sense of magic and wonder during the holidays, and for millions, that wonder includes posing a certain red-clad doll around the house to supervise the festivities. But if you're looking for a more hassle-free way to delight your kids this season, there's a new option: The Reindeer in Here is a new holiday toy that provides the fun for kids, without the stress for parents.
Created by a TV producer and dad who was looking for a new Christmas tradition for his two young children, the Reindeer is a wide-eyed plush toy with an accompanying storybook explaining its origins. As the official Reindeer in Here site explains, parents can give the fuzzy friend to their child right at the start of the holiday season as Santa's first gift. Kids are encouraged to take the deer with them throughout the day, so he can learn more about them, their families and friends, and their favorite things. He reports back to the North Pole every night, all the better to help St. Nick select just the right gifts to deliver. On Christmas Eve, the Reindeer should be put under the tree, where Santa will take it back home until the next year.
Not to discourage the Elf on the Shelf fans; there'll always be a place in our heart for the little guy. But for parents who need a break from the nightly strategizing, or who just want to bring something different to their celebrations, the Reindeer in Here is a terrific choice. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. You Don't Have To Pose It
No more poring over Pinterest trying to find new places to put the toy. (Tree? Done that. In the fridge? No room.) No more springing out of bed at 1 a.m. to move the elf because you forgot, and you don't want to face the kids' accusing looks as they tell you, "Hey, Sparkles was here yesterday!" Nope, the Reindeer in Here eliminates that migraine-inducing tradition completely. All the tradition asks is that your child take the reindeer "on different adventures each day." For a preschooler, "adventure" can translate to "burying it under a pile of LEGOs" or "going to Target." (Just don't leave the deer behind in the shopping cart.)
2. It's Not Creepy
Rather than giving a miniature spy permission to report on your kids' good (or bad) behavior to a major authority figure, the Reindeer focuses on a "positive core message." Instead of keeping track of every time the kids sneak a sugar cookie, it sends nightly notes to Santa about the child's personality and preferences. Parents can write the notes on behalf of the deer, but this is strictly optional.
3. It Celebrates Differences
If you look closely at the Reindeer in Here, you'll notice that one of its antlers is slightly shorter than the other. That's not a manufacturing defect; that's part of what makes the toy special. The toy is intended to teach children that "being different is normal," and that their own individual traits are something to be proud of. According to the story, the Reindeer is also the one who thinks outside the box and finds a way to help Santa become better acquainted with the children on his list. Since kids don't write him many letters anymore, the deer volunteers to be the one to get to know the kids and send his findings up to the North Pole.
4. It Won't Break Your Budget
The Reindeer in Here is available in selected retail outlets or online; the toy alone is $20 in stores or $22 on Amazon. You can also get the book and toy shipped in a festive box for $34 through the website. Other options include just the Reindeer in Here: A Christmas Friend book, or a package of coloring and activity books. There's also a "Best Friend Bundle" featuring the Reindeer's snowman bud, Cane; a "Night Before Christmas" bundle that includes a cookie plate for Santa and another for reindeer treats; a cute baby blanket; or even a three-pack of fuzzy thermal reindeer socks.
5. It Won't Get Forgotten After New Year's
Unlike your kids' other stuffed animals that get tossed under the bed or left in the corner of the den, the Reindeer is a holiday-only toy that goes back to Santa on Christmas Eve, where it stays until next December. So you all can bid the cute deer a fond farewell after just a few weeks of playing (when the initial excitement will have worn off anyway), and your child will have the fun of anticipating its return when the holidays roll around again.
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