I live in a small, rural town, and every Christmas for as long as I can remember our family has gone to a celebration in the town square on Christmas Eve. The shopkeepers keep their shops open, the fire department serves hot chocolate, there’s a bonfire on the village green. It’s all very cute and old-fashioned, and now that I have kids of my own, they love it, too.
But there’s also a reindeer exhibit, where two little reindeer (real ones!) are attached to a sleigh and families sit in the sleigh and have their photos taken. I noticed last year that these reindeer are in terrible shape. I think they’re drugged to get through the night. They’re scrawny, and trembling, and look scared out of their minds. And after I had this realization, Christmas Eve didn’t seem too quaint. Now participating in this event seems like cruelty.
What do I do? Family tradition? Or Save the Reindeer?