[Seriously?] No Santa as reindeer affected by bluetongue

Kooky news.
The reindeer like to go on boozy weekend breaks. They might have picked up the virus during one of those trips. Photo Shutterstock

Santa won’t be visiting the Netherlands this year as at least three of his reindeer have bluetongue. That is bad news for all children and grown-ups who behaved perfectly all year long.

In addition to the three sick deer, two more of Santa’s eight reindeer are showing signs of the disease; tests will be performed to see whether they really have it or are just trying to get off work. 

It is not yet clear how Rudolf, Dancer and Vixen could have caught the disease as bluetongue is relatively rare in Finland. The virus is spread by midges and they don’t like freezing temperatures. Santa is not ruling out the possibility of the three catching the disease during one of their weekend trips to more southern climes. ‘They have a habit of taking off on a Friday or Saturday and returning intoxicated in the wee small hours,’ says Santa. ‘Alcohol is cheaper than here pretty much everywhere else and I don’t always know where they hang out.’

The remaining healthy reindeer are still able to pull the sledge, but the full Christmas schedule would be too exhausting for them.

It is not clear how Rudolf, Dancer and Vixen could have caught the disease as bluetongue is rare in Finland

‘I’ve looked at the list of destinations and I will need to cancel about a third of them. Unfortunately that includes the Netherlands,’ explains Santa. ‘The choice was based on distance and the ratio of naughty to nice people.’


The Netherlands doesn’t perform great in that respect, according to Santa. ‘I hate to say it, but you have a lousy ratio. All that whinging about asylum seekers, and then that election result… As for the students: skipping lectures, “forgetting” to do the washing up — nearly everyone was on the “naughty” list. That’s before I get on to what has been happening in the Bunker.’

Santa agrees this is a real shame for all the children on his ‘nice’ list. ‘I’m in contact with your tax authority and they will be working on a tax-deductible Christmas Present Allowance in early January, so those children will see some compensation. Just don’t assume it will be allocated fairly.’

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