Cartwright’s reindeer man spreading Christmas joy with people of all ages
Jaxon Morris of Cartwright is a true believer in the magic of Christmas. The six-year-old has all the proof he needs right outside his door.
The story begins in early December when Jaxon’s mother, Pam Morris, saw a Facebook post about two beautifully made reindeer. Morris had been admiring the animals, made from birch and tree branches, since they began appearing in front of people’s homes in the community last year.
She sent a message to the woman who’d posted about the reindeer.
Please stop along the Pardy residence and pick up one of those cute reindeer to drop off at our house along the way. Will leave treats.”
Jaxon knew his mom had made the special request to the famous man in red.
“We went to supper that very evening and, as we came back into our driveway, I could see two of those reindeer on our bridge. I’m pretty sure I screamed with excitement,” Morris recalled.
In the eyes of her young son, it was Santa who created and dropped off the beautiful handmade gift.
“It makes me so happy to see the excitement in Jaxon’s eyes when he talks about it... I’m very thankful to Mr. Pardy for being very thoughtful and giving, not only at Christmas, but all year round,” Morris said.
Donelda Pardy had made the post about the reindeer.
She helps her father, Fred Pardy, make the reindeer and give them to people in the community.
For Donelda, the reindeer story began a few years ago, she said, when she saw a reindeer in a movie.
“I sent a picture of it to my best friend and told him that I wanted to make some. Last year I got after my Dad to make some,” she said. “He kept saying, ‘Yes we will get some birch and try it out.’”
After her friend made a miniature reindeer and left it on her doorstep, her father decided to go get some birch and try making one.
“My Dad and I are best friends and we do everything together. And we are both a little extreme. So we ended up with the makings for quite a few. Once we had some made we put some in the front yard and it went from there,” Donelda said.
She can’t remember exactly how many reindeer she’s helped her father make and give away, she said, but is sure the number exceeds 50.
Last year, she said, after Christmas they gave away eight that they had in their own yard.
The old cliché it’s better to give than to receive, comes to mind when Donelda relates the story about the first reindeer she and her father delivered, unbeknownst to the homeowner.
“Aunt Dora’s (Hamel) were the first sneaky delivery. We put on Christmas hats and snuck up and my Dad insisted we put them on her front bridge. Whatta’ laugh we had when we were running to hide in the bushes after,” she recalled. “Needless to say, we were spotted and found out once Aunt Dora posted on Facebook about her Christmas delivery.”
Donelda said her parents — Fred and Linda Pardy — are incredibly kind people. They taught her and her sister — Andrea Pardy — all about respect, she said, that people shouldn’t judge others and that kindness changes the world.
Why does her father take the time to collect the birch, make the reindeer and give them away, oftentimes, to people never expecting the delightful delivery?
“It’s my Dad’s way. It’s just how he is,” Donelda said. “Being kind is contagious in this family. Just the smiles are enough.”
Sonya Dyson was both surprised and delighted last Christmas to discover four beautiful reindeer outside her home.
Referring to Fred Pardy as “the reindeer man”, she said he doesn’t realize how good his generosity makes people feel.
“It makes you want to pay it forward and do good things for others. He doesn’t ask anything for his reindeer, but I’ll drop him off a few cookies when I bake something or a few squares,” Dyson said.
Dyson said Fred and Linda Pardy are very kind-hearted people.
“They have their girls raised the same way,” she said.
Dyson related to the story of young Jaxon and how the reindeer showed up at his home. The boy is her godchild, she said.
“For Jaxon the reindeer are truly magical,” she said. “And that’s what Christmas is all about.”
A reindeer made by Fred Pardy, along with Jaxon Morris’ dog Junior.
Jaxon Morris made. with a reindeer Fred Pardy