Live Reindeer Program

December is generally a slow time for public libraries, and my library is no exception. Our storytimes are on hiatus until January, a lot of the staff members (and patrons) are on vacation, and it is a good time to get projects done for the most part. While things are pretty slow, my library does have one huge program at each of our branches: live reindeer! And we go all out!

Each branch in my county system does this program. And even the smallest branch had hundreds of people turn out, so I definitely think it's worth the investment. It is truly a team effort to put this program together. Our maintenance department put out the big contractor lights and placed barriers by them. (They also did a particularly beautiful job hanging Christmas lights on our front lawn as you can see in this photo.)

Each branch is responsible for preparing crafts to go with the reindeer's visit. Inside my branch, we had two crafts and kids were able to make either or both. The first is your basic reindeer antler headband:

 The second is a paper snowglobe:

Both crafts are made from Ellison die cuts. We shall not speak of the amount of die cutting that went into this program since we were expecting about 500 people at this program. (And of course 2 reindeer, named Holly and Noel!). We also purchased some winter-themed stickers from Oriental Trading for the snow globe craft, but they hadn't arrived yet when I made the sample. Actually they arrived in the mail only a few hours before the program, yikes!

We also served cookies inside at my branch. The reindeer have to stay outside though. Staffing-wise, we had all four regular staff members of our children's department, one volunteer serving cookies, and a substitute staff member working the desk. All of us wore reindeer antler headbands as well. The 4 children's staffers took 30 minute shifts outside with the reindeer and then inside working the craft tables or helping out at the desk. It was a magical, fun night where we saw 490 members of our community turn out despite temperatures well below freezing. Even our resident stuffed Clifford got into the act:

Update 12/16/14: Take a peek at what we did when we repeated this program in December of 2014 with 748 attendees! 


  1. I LOVE this!! I would love to see a reindeer! It probably wouldn't be quite the same feel here in Texas without snow. But fun!


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