Time to End the Reindeer Games

1 minute read



“Who even thinks that?” my mom asked with complete and utter confusion.
“I don’t think that conversation ever needs to be had. Ever.”

“Mom, hear me out,” I said shooting up a little straighter.
“The reindeer are total assholes to Rudolph the whole time. The only time they even like him is when Santa realizes that Rudolph has something that they need. ‘Then how the reindeer loved him?’ Come on, major teaching moment!“

She threw me one more sideways glance and a curled lip.

My mom was not about to jump on board the sleigh ride of movie magic crushing, especially when her grandkids were involved.

Okay, so do I plan on breaking this to my two toddlers anytime soon and crapping on the pure joy that is Rudolph? No, of course not. In a few years? Definitely.

I want my kids to know that going to bat for someone, especially when that person is the odd man out, is one of the most courageous moves you can make. Not only do people remember that for the rest of their lives, but it creates a domino effect. Bystanders break away from gaping on the sidelines voicing their support and defense for what is right. Joy to the freaking world!

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of

– Brené Brown

I want my kids to learn that it’s not cool to jump on board only when the ringleader says so. What is cool? Taking the chance for what is right even when you’re not sure of the outcome. Even when it’s scary. That doesn’t get old no matter how old we get.

A real leader is one who sees strength in everyone’s uniqueness and celebrates it. (Listen up, Santa). Having a mind of your own and standing up for yourself and others are hardcore, lifelong admirable qualities. With practice, they grow stronger like any other muscle.

Be yourself–not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.
– Henry David Thoreau

We all love the idea of receiving adulation and cheers in our honor, especially for the one dreadful disparity that we feel makes us a “misfit” from the pack. Seeing the underdog rise? That never gets old. What does is the fact that if we continue to become swept up in the masses mindset and don’t think for ourselves, the reindeer shit will continue to hit the fan.

So, this holiday season while we come together with family and friends, lugging in our old baggage and schlepping in our new load, remember that we’re all misfits in one way or another. Share the love, not because someone else gave you the go ahead, but because we all can use it. You may even make someone glow.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964, director: Larry Roemer, writers: Romeo Muller, Robert May (story).) A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Hermey: Hey, what do you say we both be independent together, huh?

Rudolph: You wouldn’t mind my – red nose?

Hermey: Not if you don’t mind me being a dentist.
Rudolph: [shaking hands with Hermey] It’s a deal.

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