Like many moms, Angela Meju tried “Elf on the Shelf,” the elf and book that has become a Christmas tradition. She couldn’t do it. It required remembering to move the elf every night and finding a new place for the elf to be.
Last year, she started playing with “Roaming Reindeer,” a book she created that stars two reindeer. The reindeer love hanging out with kids who are behaving well, but if the kids don’t, Reindeer 1 gets scared away. The goal is for kids to keep Reindeer 1 and 2 together throughout the holiday season.
Parents can decide how long Reindeer 1 will be gone and kids and parents can brainstorm how to get Reindeer 1 back, Meju says. “It’s all in the communication,” she says.
The anesthesia nurse is the mother of a 2-year-old daughter and almost 4-year-old son. Her son is very visual and this is a visual way to represent his behavior.
Parents still have to be sneaky and figure out how to take away Reindeer 1 without kids noticing to create the idea that these are magical reindeer. However, because they are palm-sized, it’s pretty easy for them to disappear.
In less than a year, Meju has written a book, gotten it illustrated, enlisted a manufacturer to create the two plush reindeer that come in the kit, packaged it and marketed it. It’s for sale at amazon.com and roamingreindeer.com, as well as at Tarrytown Pharmacy. The kits sell for $34.95.
She doesn’t see “Roaming Reindeer” as a replacement for “Elf on the Shelf,” but it could become part of a new family tradition. After all, the reindeer will report back to Santa about who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.