Today we have a doodlewash of the only reindeer I’ve ever met in person. This is Randy the reindeer from a Hallmark movie I worked on called Northpole. I took some liberties with his antlers just to get them to fit inside my sketchbook, but this is generally what he looked like. It seemed rather magical to see a reindeer up close and my inner child was completely thrilled and starstruck.

I remember while we were working on the set of the movie, we thought the reindeer they chose looked just a tiny bit old and sad. I’ll never forget the conversation between my colleague Amy and the Canadian reindeer handler which went something like this:

Amy: “He looks a little tired. How old is he?”
Reindeer Handler: “Aboot thirteen years.”
Amy: “Wow, what’s a reindeer’s expected lifespan?”
Reindeer Handler: “Aboot thirteen years.”

Needless to say, this was to be dear Randy’s last film, so I guess this is also a bit of a tribute doodlewash.

In 1823, Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (better known as “The Night Before Christmas”) and until then, nobody had thought about reindeer in connection with Santa Claus. Moore introduced us all to Santa’s team which he named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem (the last two of which were later changed from Dutch to German, becoming Donner and Blitzen). The last two names are my favorite because they actually mean “thunder” and “lightning” which I think are pretty cool names for reindeer.

When I was a kid, the thought of reindeer landing on the roof was the most magical part of the season and I would try to stay up and listen for the sound of hooves. I convinced myself I heard them once, but now I’m pretty sure it was just the fact that we lived in an old house that was settling. Also, had eight 300-pound reindeer actually landed on the roof they would have gone straight through and into my bedroom which would have removed all doubt.

The best part of the holiday season is taking little moments to indulge your inner child. I hope in the midst of all the stress of shopping and closing out the work year, you get a chance to stop and do something fun. Something silly that adults would never do. Something that can only be done by someone young at heart who still believes in flying reindeer.

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50 thoughts on “Randy the Reindeer

  1. Charlie, that is a magnificent drawing. Iove the way you showed the roundness of the antlers. And the colors on Randy’s nose are wonderful. Really great job. But the snipped of conversation set me to laughing. There was more than a bit of magic in that interchange between Amy and the Reindeer Handler.

  2. You have truely out done yourself, Charlie! Randy is wonderful. I never knew that Clement Moore was the person who came up with the whole reindeer thing. I wonder why he settled on eight and why he chose reindeer to begin with? I used to listen for the hooves on Christmas Eve too. I bet all kids do!😊

  3. You’re a magic man, Charlie O’Shields! Love!! ⛄️❄️⛄️ We used to listen for the hooves too and I swore one year I saw the flow from Rudolph’s nose. We even named our cat Prancer! :))) Love the artwork and story, as usual, bro. Keep the faith. Santa will visit your house, just like he always did, because you believe ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

    1. Awww thanks sis!! ❤️😃 So glad to hear you listening as well…and I’m sure you DID see Rudolph!! It had to be him! Hehe… Pranced is actually a great name for a cat, so that was just inspired. And yeah, Santa will come again this year…even with the ridiculous warm weather! Hehe 😊

  4. Absolutely amazing reindeer Charlie O! Randy – eh? I was wondering where you were going to go with that name…. but maybe that just shows where my mind goes – LOL! I have been busy making stuff this evening that I can’t share on my blog as my friends and family read my blog, but I have been having a lot of fun making a lot of gifts this year. trying to make christmas more about thought and time than money spent makes it so much more special (just takes more time!) LOL! Will share lots of fun projects after Christmas. trying to enjoy the childlike magic that comes with the season. And by the way – sitting here at 9pm with the door wide open as it is still so warm here. I’ll bet I’ll be eating my words in a few days, but I walked to the mailbox in flip flops and a t-shirt – and my mailbox is not a short walk 🙂

    1. Haha!! I can see where your mind goes!! ❤️😃 Actually that was also something we joked about during the production! Lol And excited to see all the cool gifts you’re creating! Those are some lucky family and friends! They’re going to love them I’m sure!! And flip flops?! This weather is insane. Philippe keeps walking around singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like…October” which doesn’t fit well and sounds as ridiculous as the balmy weather is. 😉

  5. I like how you painted Christmas magic in Randy’s eye, Charlie! 🌟😄 💜 What a handsome reindeer and I learned something too! 😉 I like the bit about how the last 2 names of the reindeer were changed. You always bring such wonderful memories to me with your posts. Thank you. 💖💕🎁

  6. Lovely tribute painting for Randy the Reindeer. But how will I ever enjoy another Christmas Eve while worrying that 8 300 lb reindeer are going to come crashing down on my bed? Oh wait. I don’t have a chimney, so Santa will probably just come through a window. Whew. Christmas is saved!

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