Since Santa’s very first trip to deliver gifts around the world, he’s had a team of magic, flying reindeer pulling his sleigh. This year, some of those magical reindeer will be visiting a Coastal store near you. It’s all thanks to one of Santa’s favorite reindeer custodians, Cindy Murdoch with Timberview Farm.
Cindy Cares about Reindeer
Back when Cindy and her late husband Kirk were planning what to do during retirement, raising reindeer wasn’t the first choice.
“We wanted to do something with our 19-acre property,” Cindy said. “We considered horses and other livestock, but landed on reindeer after doing some research and talking with folks at the national Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association.”
The couple divided the property into seasons and ways to spend their retirement. That includes guineafowls, huckleberries, Lapponian herders (a friendly reindeer herding dog), and reindeer.
“The summer and fall are all about getting ready for the holidays and reindeer season,” she added. “We’re building photo huts and thinking of new ways people can interact with the reindeer.”
Her first pair of reindeer was named Vixen and Jingle Bell. Today, she proudly cares for some of the last reindeer in the state of Oregon.
“We have Cocoa, Cookie, Dancer, Dasher, Elf, Ginger, Glitter, Joy, and Noel,” Cindy said, rattling off their names like a proud mom. “But when we get to Coastal, they’ll go by their Santa names,” she added with a wink.
Those reindeer will arrive in groups of two at Coastal stores throughout November and December.
“What’s amazing is how they communicate with people,” Cindy shared. She added that while they might call one of them Comet at an event, that reindeer will share her real name with any of the kids who will listen.
While Cindy and the other handlers have never seen one of their reindeer fly, the animals have shown off their practice moves.
“They do magic things all the time, like their hop, hop, and jump thing,” she said laughing. “It’s like they’re practicing for takeoff. Anytime the kids see that, it’s pretty magical. The adults get pretty excited too.”
Some of the biggest questions Cindy gets are about what reindeer eat and how friendly they are.
“We feed them a specific mix of grain and nutrients, but they do like to browse,” she said. “Reindeer like to eat leaves, moss, bark, and even forage in the dirt.”
As for friendliness, she and others contend that they might be the friendliest animals this side of dogs. Come on down to your nearby Coastal and see for yourself. And if you have kids, bring them along and watch the magic of the season sparkle in their eyes.
Where to Meet Santa’s Reindeer
Get to your nearby store early. Each event runs from 2pm – 6pm.
Tuesday, November 23 – Redmond
Saturday, November 27 – Corvallis
Sunday, November 28 – Cornelius
Tuesday, November 30 – Gresham
Thursday, December 2 – Klamath Falls
Friday, December 3 – White City
Sunday, December 5 – Roseburg
Tuesday, December 7 – Oregon City
Friday, December 10 – Salem
Sunday, December 12 – Woodburn
Tuesday, December 14 – The Dalles
Sunday, December 19 – Eugene
Tuesday, December 21 – Albany
Sunday, December 5 – Wenatchee
Tuesday, December 7 – Yakima
Friday, December 10 – Mount Vernon
Sunday, December 12 – Auburn
Tuesday, December 14 – Sequim
Saturday, December 18 – Marysville
Sunday, December 19 – Monroe