These reindeer can fly (with a little help from FedEx), give kisses and draw hundreds to holiday meet-and-greets: ‘They’re like big puppies.’
A reindeer named Holly waits in a pen for a Christmas-themed open house for families of first responders on Dec. 9, 2021, in DeKalb, Illinois. - John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS

At eight months old, baby Olive is already a Christmas pro. Relaxed and calm in a red collar festooned with jingle bells, the 140-pound reindeer gazes into camera after camera at a holiday meet-and-greet in DeKalb, Illinois. She lets children pose with her, pet her and give her scratches. From time to time, she even returns the love, her fluffy nose nudging gently as she moves in for a reindeer kiss. Olive, performing today with Santa and four other reindeer, belongs to one of the Chicago area’s most unusual showbiz families: the 10-member herd at Whispering Pines Reindeer Ranch in Shabbona. O...