Creek County is home to Oklahoma's only reindeer farm. The Reindeer Club has been making Christmastime more magical for kids and adults for the past 6 years.
Two reindeer, Rose and Grace, made a special visit to Edison Elementary School in Bristow earlier this month to help teach the students about reindeer and the letter R.
“When they walk, they make a click, click, click sound,” a Bristow pre-school student hollered out.
“The clicking sound that you hear on the rooftop... click, click, click. Is not their feet, it's actually a tendon in their knee,” said Nick Ledbetter. “And that tendon helps them locate each other in snowstorms, so they don't have to communicate through vocalization. They communicate through the snapping of their knees.”
Ledbetter owns the Reindeer Club near Bristow, where Santa has to send Animal Crackers in bulk.
“Reindeer don't like glitter and oats and all this stuff your mixing together. All you need is Animal Crackers. The reindeer love animal crackers. It's their favorite treat. They will almost do anything for an Animal Crackers,” Ledbetter said.
His herd includes Rose and Grace, a couple of reindeer that are traveling out of state for the holidays and Yukon. He’s a beautiful, sometimes ornery, three and a half-year-old bull.
Ledbetter said a conversation with his son about 8 years ago is what got this whole thing started.
“We [used to have] the Polar Express train ride in Bristow,” said Ledbetter. “Me and my wife took our three kids and my oldest son at the time, Parker, asked, ‘Dad, how come we always see Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the elves, but we never see a reindeer?’”
So Ledbetter did a little research decided he wanted to change that.
“Santa was like, ‘Nick, I need somebody in Oklahoma to help me raise a few reindeer,’” said Ledbetter. “I learned with enough approval from the government and Santa Claus himself, you can actually have reindeer in the state of Oklahoma,” said Ledbetter.
For 6 years now he's owned the only reindeer farm in Oklahoma.
“I can't explain, and I've tried many times, we get to go be a part of everybody's holiday,” he said.
They travel all over the state to schools, Christmas parades, holiday events, parties and even for family photos.
“We do a lot of photography work, everybody likes to get pictures with Rose” said Ledbetter.
Most people around in Oklahoma have never seen a real reindeer, so Nick is bringing to life that special part of Santa's story.
“It gets real for the kids. They've always heard about them, seen them in movies or in a book, but they've never actually seen them with their own eyes,” Ledbetter said.
When they do it captures that magic of Christmas—and this in a year, a little magic might be just what we all need.
“I think everybody is wanting a little sense of normalcy and so maybe bringing back a little holiday spirit and showing some reindeer in places will give everybody some peace of mind that everything's gonna be OK,” said Ledbetter.
The Reindeer Club is not open to the public, so you can’t go to the farm to meet the herd. The best bet on meeting one of the magical reindeer is to catch with them at holiday events throughout the season.
You can message the Reindeer Club on Facebook for a schedule by Clicking Here.
For more information on The Reindeer Club, you can visit their website Here.