Following a host of complaints about sherry glasses strewn about living rooms, mince-pie crumbs on the carpet and piles of coal dust on hearths, Father Christmas has confessed that he may have been a bit clumsy this year. "Every year I leave some evidence of my visit to 'prove' my existence," he said. "I sample the wares left out for me and then give the impression that I was too busy to clear up after myself, hence all Rudolph's half-eaten carrots and glittery straw on driveways."
But he has vowed to clean up his act next year after a series of regrettable incidents. In several homes, he appeared to have raided the drinks cabinet and the snacks that had been stockpiled for Christmas, leaving whisky glasses, cheese footballs and peanuts all over the carpet. And in one house, he left a trail of 'snowy' footprints between the chimney and the Christmas tree, which Mrs Helen Green of Exeter had great difficulty in clearing up. "It was as if he'd trodden icing sugar into the carpet in his size twelve boots" she exclaimed.