From Classroom to Christmas: Teacher Turns Elf to Juggle Reindeer Handling Side Job

Charlotte Baxter, a teacher for most of the year, unveils her unusual part-time job as a reindeer handler, donning an elf costume. Raised on a farm, Charlotte developed a love for animal care, a passion that unexpectedly evolved into a seasonal profession.

At 25, Charlotte splits her year between teaching and her festive role as a reindeer handler. Based in Northamptonshire, she’s responsible for preparing the reindeers for their appearances at various events, overseeing more than 18 animals.

Though it may sound peculiar, Charlotte equates it to typical farm work. Speaking to, she explained, “Caring for reindeer isn’t too dissimilar to looking after sheep and cows. I never imagined this would be my sideline job. It’s like being a true-life elf managing Santa’s herd. My first day at a Christmas market was unforgettable; one woman couldn’t believe reindeer were real!”

She added, “It’s a fantastic tale for my students, as they believe I’m an assistant at the North Pole.”

Alongside her duties, Charlotte ensures the reindeers’ unique diet of lichen, imported from Scandinavia, is maintained. “It’s generally straightforward unless there’s a delay in the lichen supply. And I always have to be wary of their antlers; getting hit by one is no joke,” she noted.

After eight years in this dual role, Charlotte shows no signs of slowing down, wearing her elf costume for various events, including work gatherings, corporate functions, and weddings.

“The reindeers’ allure is truly mesmerizing, leaving guests spellbound by their magical presence,” Charlotte recounted. “Once, a headteacher declared an emergency to the children, saying Santa’s sleigh had crashed nearby. I crafted an entire rescue story, and watching the children’s imagination come to life was wonderful.”

Reflecting on her unique career path, Charlotte concluded, “Had someone told me a decade ago about my future, I wouldn’t have believed it. But there’s no chance I’ll be reining in this endeavor anytime soon.”