First things first, I'm going to say all the words inside my head right now about this topic. Apparently these are words that will come as a shock to a surprisingly large portion of the population. Reindeer are real. They exist. They are not fantasy creatures made up by Clement Clarke Moore for his poem "A Visit From Saint Nick." These aren't dragons we're talking about. They exist, you can visit them in zoos and on farms. Including one just two hours away in Canton, Illinois.

Second thing second, don't you tell me what you think about the existence of reindeer. They 100% exist. The confusion, at least in our continent, comes from the difference in names. In Europe, they call them reindeer, but here on this side of the Atlantic, we call them caribou (though I'm also reading in the wild they're called caribou, domesticated they're reindeer. I've heard it both ways). So if you've ever ventured north of the 45th parallel, you've probably seen one in the wild, as they tend to favor cold weather. They only venture this far south if they're trying to sell us coffee.

Third things third, kids, send a prayer to the ones above, like your parents, that they'll take you to Snowman's Reindeer Farm up in Canton, about 30 miles southwest of Peoria. They've got all sorts of events throughout the season kicking off this weekend with visits with reindeer and shopping at the Jolly Old Elf Shoppe. As Christmas draws near, events get bigger and better, like the Plaid Parade, Ugly Sweater Weekend and It's A Wonderful Life screenings. And that's on top of the normal activities like petting the reindeer, visiting with Santa, taking photos and visiting that Jolly Old Elf Shoppe.

Last things last, by the grace of fire and flames, you'll stay warm as they tend to keep the reindeer barn cold. These are artict/subarctic creatures, after all. But with plenty to do, and just generally hanging out with reindeer, it should be a fun weekend road trip with the kids for the Christmas season. Maybe over Thanksgiving weekend.

Go visit the farm, maybe then you'll be a Believer in reindeer.

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