Around the time I was in the fourth grade, I was given several Dakin stuffed toys. I can’t remember what they were now, though I seem to recall a skunk, maybe a donkey, and a dog. The only one I held on to through the years was my reindeer, because he stayed with my Christmas decorations. I would put him with my Santa’s Workshop display each year. However, when he was stored in the same place where a lot of my books were lost because of some kind of destructive bug, my poor reindeer’s antlers and eyes, made out of felt, and some of his spots, were all eaten.
I still displayed him though. If you look carefully at this photo from 2008, you can see a lone wire hanging behind his head. And I sewed green beads on to give him some eyes, even though I thought the final effect was kind of creepy.
Sometime between then and last year, I took pity on his antler-free state and fashioned a silver pipe cleaner into festive head gear for him.
Then Steve B posted some photos to Twitter of his holiday decorations, and lo and behold, there was his reindeer, who he called Zombie Rudolph.
It made me feel sad for my little red friend. After all, he’s stuck with me through a lot of lean years, hard Christmases, and bad haircuts. How could I possibly leave him in such a deplorable state year after year? So on Craft Night, I removed the stupid pipe cleaner and the scary eyes. Then I put some red wire on his little head.
Apparently, my camera was set to “Alabama National Championship” focus, so Rudy is a bit blurry.
I could see by the faded circles where some spots should be.
I could still remember the colors that were on my original reindeer, so having gone to the felt farm earlier, it was time to create: new antlers! Eyes! A nose! Spots!
I decided to leave his tattered ribbon intact. After all, there’s nothing wrong with evidence that he’s a Reindeer of Many Years and Adventures.
Now he’s nestled between Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, a happy boy. I have a little of my childhood back. And isn’t that one of the best parts of Christmas?