Lately, I feel like every article I write starts with "because this year has been rough". It's true, but MAN I'm so over 2020 and all the negativity that comes with it. Thankfully, we have people doing amazing things locally to bring a little positivity to the area. It may be a little unconventional, but a local assisted living facility brought in a surprise guest to cheer up their residents.

Just yesterday, Vineyard Assisted Living in Kalamazoo welcomed a four legged visitor. Now, I've heard of other facilities bringing in dogs, cats, even alpacas...but a reindeer? That's a new one!

As reported by Mlive.com, Reindeer Ranch in Kalamazoo stopped by Vineyard Assisted Living with a four year old reindeer named Percy. Residents were able to take pictures and pet Percy. The pictures are adorable. You can see the full post here and check out a few of the shots below.

While a visit from a reindeer is foreign to me, a former Floridian, it's apparently a very popular stop for Reindeer Ranch according to the owner, Carol Borton. Especially this time of year. And this year, with families having to remain separated for safety, anything that brings a little joy to someone's life, no matter how silly, is absolutely worth it and necessary in my opinion.

It's been a tough year for everyone, yes. But, I cannot imagine, in my elder years, not being able to spend time with my family at all. Vineyard Assisted Living has been working hard to try to fill that gap. Marketing Director, Alex Strein, has been coming up with creative ideas to keep people in the spirit. She told MLive.com that,

For a morale boost, staff will have a drop-by holiday party where Santa will give out raffle prizes. They will also have a Christmas pajama party to wrap gifts for residents that will be delivered on Christmas Eve.

I applaud anyone and everyone that's currently in position where you have to take care of other people during a pandemic. I have enough trouble taking care of myself. I cannot imagine the stress, both physical and emotional, that caretakers are going through.

If you need a little reindeer joy yourself, the Reindeer Ranch does tours! You can find all the information you need here.

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