I love interesting Christmas traditions! Holiday crafts and activities that are personal to our family become so much more meaningful over the years. Our little family of four carries on a Christmas tradition that started with my husband’s grandfather. I remember Grandpop so proudly showing off his “Reindeer Garden” decorations one Christmas before we were married. I was forever in love!
Now we set up our own reindeer garden decorations in the window every Christmas season. It’s easy and fun to add this holiday tradition to your list.
Here’s the scoop!
Creating a Reindeer Garden
A Reindeer Garden can become a wonderful family tradition to treasure each year. Your décor can also grow bit by bit.
First, consider whether you are looking to create an indoor arrangement or a set of outdoor Reindeer Garden decorations. (Skip to the end for outdoor!)
Grandfather’s reindeer figurines were precious and very purposefully arranged on top of a desk in his sitting room. I loved the care he put into giving each one the perfect perspective amid the rest!
My husband mentioned that, in the early days, his grandfather had a television cabinet with speakers on the side and an actual cabinet that hid the TV. His grandfather would decorate the top of the cabinet with small figurines of animals and holiday characters, and most importantly, reindeer!
Then he placed a little white fence all around the scene to complete his reindeer garden decorations.
The Reindeer Garden made the perfect home for handmade crafts by Herb’s grandsons, like reindeer popsicle stick decorations. Here at our house, we definitely have those, too!
Now we are onto the next generation of reindeer garden creators!
When my husband was a young boy and as he grew up, he’d get to see his grandfather’s reindeer garden each year on Christmas Day. As a young adult, this was one of the most interesting Christmas traditions to me.
We never did anything quite like that growing up and I immediately decided to adopt the idea and carry on the legacy.
Hopefully one day I can get a copy of a photo from the original reindeer gardens!
Nativity Alternative Idea
A reindeer garden serves as a fun and creative nativity alternative, especially if you don’t have one or wanted to try something unique.
The idea is still generally the same – the reindeer and other animals or characters still come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. It’s just a bit more fluid in an almost-anything goes sort of way.
If you’re looking for nativity alternatives, consider making a reindeer garden this year and see how you like it.
Reindeer Garden Video
Do you want to see our Reindeer Garden? Our youngest daughter narrates and gives the tour of our special holiday tradition in 2020 when she’d just recently turned 5.
An Old Christmas Tradition Made New Again
To create our own Reindeer Garden, our daughters and I decorate the inside of our bay window with festive holiday décor and reindeer figurines.
First, we set down a poinsettia table runner that is short enough to fit comfortably within the bay window’s footprint. Any table runner would look beautiful, but this one is our favorite!
Next, the girls take turns adding reindeer, trees, bells, a sled, a sleigh, and of course, the candy cane bridge. You can add your own special touches to your Reindeer Garden – it doesn’t have to be exclusively reindeer!
We also put electric candles in the bay window to match the rest of our home. It sets a nice glow for the reindeer each night. Our holiday decorating now feels complete now that our Reindeer Garden decorations are all set!
Inspired by Interesting Christmas Traditions
A reindeer sanctuary like ours becomes a family favorite tradition around the holidays. We put our own twist on Grandpop’s Reindeer Garden for our family, and I recommend it for yours, too!
Every year for Christmas, my husband gets me a new reindeer or reindeer themed gift to go in the Reindeer Garden. It’s a lovely holiday tradition to add a personalized reindeer decoration of some sort to our garden.
Some are so delicate and special that I don’t set them out every year with little ones around. He’s gotten me Swarovski reindeer and others. You won’t see them in the video above. One day, though.
Last year my husband got me an adorable reindeer vase with flowers and felt reindeer antlers – it is precious! Now it serves as a stand for a mistletoe ball with an antique mini elf on the shelf style guy sitting on top.
Our Reindeer Garden is also home to our Holiday Ginger Bears – based on my favorite holiday book as a child. We make these cute Christmas themed teddy bear figurines using a recipe for salt dough ornaments and just sculpting them to our desired shapes.
Outdoor Reindeer Garden Decorations
I love our indoor Reindeer Garden so much and look forward to setting it up with our kids each year. It’s a special moment we get to share time after time. Although, an outdoor Reindeer Garden would be lovely for the whole neighborhood to enjoy!
If you’re looking to decorate your yard rather than your interior spaces, outdoor reindeer garden decorations are a beautiful choice. Our home doesn’t have any illuminated reindeer in our yard just yet, but I’m hopeful my husband will surprise me with such a gift one day!
This year he surprised us by decorating the front of our home with white lights. Previously we’d relied on Star Shower to brighten up our home’s exterior with holiday spirit. A few reindeer yard lights would be perfect to complete our home’s look!
In the meantime, we have an adorable illuminated holiday border collie that lights up our yard during this holiday season. I simply couldn’t love it one bit more than I already do!
It was adorable the first time our own border collie saw it. She barked and went outside and sniffed its butt — dogs doing dog things are hilarious!!
The light-up border collie decoration also fooled my friend’s Dachshund across the street. I wish I could’ve seen it!
Do you decorate your inside or outside spaces with reindeer? If so, we’d love to see your pictures! Feel free to add your reindeer games or holiday decorating traditions on this post or any ideas and suggestions in the comments below.