Santa gets the sack

Herald Series: Siblings Ryan, Amy and Katie Kennett with the Santa Claus who was dismissed from Notcutts garden centre Siblings Ryan, Amy and Katie Kennett with the Santa Claus who was dismissed from Notcutts garden centre

A SANTA has been sacked after allegedly telling children about the US school massacre before revealing he was not the real Father Christmas.

The Kennett family, from Abingdon, had hoped for a festive day out at Notcutts garden centre in Nuneham Courtenay. But mum Wendy said it turned into the “worst day of her life” and left her three children in tears.

The 33-year-old mum-of-three and her husband Steven took their children – Ryan, 10, Amy, seven, and Katie, six – to visit Santa on Saturday.

She said her children, who all attend Rush Common School in Abingdon, told Santa they had been good this year.

But she said he replied: “Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen, like what happened to those children in America.”

She added he had just started telling the children more about what had happened in America, and assuming he was talking about the Sandy Hook school shooting, Mr Kennett interrupted.

Mrs Kennett said the Santa then asked the two girls to leave so he could “have a word with their brother”.

After whispering something to Ryan, which his parents could not hear, she said the 10-year-old ran out crying that the man had said something unkind about Father Christmas.

The two girls were stood next to their parents listening at the time.

Mrs Kennett, who paid £5.99 per child, said: “I was totally furious. I now had three children in tears.”

Notcutts spokesman Jim Hawker said: “We have accepted the customers’ version of events and have dismissed the Santa, apologised and refunded the family.”

He added the firm had also bought them tickets to Winter Wonderland in London.

He said: “The individual has been dismissed from the position and replaced with another Santa for the festive period. Notcutts certainly feel this was an error of judgment on behalf of the individual.”

He added the Santa in question had worked at the centre for a number of years and had not attracted any other complaints.

Mrs Kennett said she went to the manager to ask that the Santa be sacked on the spot, but he was kept on for the rest of the day.

Mr Hawker added: “There was a massive queue of children waiting to see Santa and we did not want to disappoint them.”

But that was not the end of the story. To console their children – after hours of trying to restore their faith in Santa – Mr and Mrs Kennett took them to the Tandem Hungry Horse restaurant in Kennington for a meal.

But Mrs Kennett said a children’s entertainer at the restaurant told the children Santa did not waste his time reading their letters.

She said when the children told the balloon artist they had written to Santa, he said: “That was a waste of time.

“Santa is my best friend, we went skiing last weekend and he told me that he doesn’t bother reading letters because he has got better things to do.”

By this point, Mrs Kennett said the children were so shaken up they did not feel like eating and the family left the restaurant and went back home to Abingdon.

Hungry Horse spokesman Amy Golledge said: “Hungry Horse is saddened and disappointed to hear our young diners had been upset by a hired entertainer, especially so close to Christmas.”

She said the Kennett family had been offered a complimentary meal.

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:44am Thu 20 Dec 12

Cathena says...

One unlucky family, hope the other Santas earned their money properly.
One unlucky family, hope the other Santas earned their money properly. Cathena

9:45am Thu 20 Dec 12

Teabagged says...

This article is brilliant.
This article is brilliant. Teabagged

9:45am Thu 20 Dec 12

kazzers says...

I am not convinced by this version of events !! Has anyone asked Santa about this ?? We took our granddaughters to see him on Saturday morning and he was absolutely amazing as always . We took them last year and he is genuinely interested in what the children are like. He chats to them and finds out what they are interested in and really engages with them .He has a reputation locally with being a really lovely Santa. Sorry but I am not convinced by this and as i say I hope that they got his version of events before that dismissed him.
I am not convinced by this version of events !! Has anyone asked Santa about this ?? We took our granddaughters to see him on Saturday morning and he was absolutely amazing as always . We took them last year and he is genuinely interested in what the children are like. He chats to them and finds out what they are interested in and really engages with them .He has a reputation locally with being a really lovely Santa. Sorry but I am not convinced by this and as i say I hope that they got his version of events before that dismissed him. kazzers

9:57am Thu 20 Dec 12

Anon Coward says...

But mum Wendy said it turned into the “worst day of her life”

Wendy,
if that's the worst thing that's ever happened to you, you don't know how lucky you are..

really.. get a grip.
But mum Wendy said it turned into the “worst day of her life” Wendy, if that's the worst thing that's ever happened to you, you don't know how lucky you are.. really.. get a grip. Anon Coward

10:42am Thu 20 Dec 12

Calavera says...

She's done quite well out of the supposed "worst day" of her life. Freebies, her face in the paper and got some poor so-and-so's the sack. Well done, love.
She's done quite well out of the supposed "worst day" of her life. Freebies, her face in the paper and got some poor so-and-so's the sack. Well done, love. Calavera

11:35am Thu 20 Dec 12

dant40 says...

They look happy with Santa. Was that before the comments was said? Known the boy ran out crying he looks ok in pic.

For the parents. Your quick to get there pic taken before getting him sacked. I bet you made a right scene in the shop to get your way.

They should put camera and sound recorder in there to protect the Santa, and children.
They look happy with Santa. Was that before the comments was said? Known the boy ran out crying he looks ok in pic. For the parents. Your quick to get there pic taken before getting him sacked. I bet you made a right scene in the shop to get your way. They should put camera and sound recorder in there to protect the Santa, and children. dant40

12:35pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Joris Bonson says...

I hope the family are happy that they made a man lose his job on the run up to christmas just so they could try and get some freebies.

I very much doubt that two random people decided to be horrible to only their children.
I hope the family are happy that they made a man lose his job on the run up to christmas just so they could try and get some freebies. I very much doubt that two random people decided to be horrible to only their children. Joris Bonson

12:40pm Thu 20 Dec 12

fredford says...

Sound like a couple of professional moaners to me.....dont believe a word of it,scrounging freebie hunters more like.
Sound like a couple of professional moaners to me.....dont believe a word of it,scrounging freebie hunters more like. fredford

12:42pm Thu 20 Dec 12

kazzers says...

As I said before he is an amazing Santa, He has been at Notcutts for years without any complaints ..............and he loses his job after one complaint ? Shame on you Notcutts !!! I'm sure that when this family arrives for their 'freebie' at the Winter Wonderland something else would 'offend' them ......maybe in the hope of something else free?? Oh yeah and if a ballon artist made that comment to my grandchildren , they would know that it was a joke . .......Some people . I just feel so sorry for Father Christmas :-( I for one will be visiting him at another venue next year .
As I said before he is an amazing Santa, He has been at Notcutts for years without any complaints ..............and he loses his job after one complaint ? Shame on you Notcutts !!! I'm sure that when this family arrives for their 'freebie' at the Winter Wonderland something else would 'offend' them ......maybe in the hope of something else free?? Oh yeah and if a ballon artist made that comment to my grandchildren , they would know that it was a joke . .......Some people . I just feel so sorry for Father Christmas :-( I for one will be visiting him at another venue next year . kazzers

12:56pm Thu 20 Dec 12

dant40 says...

they said what school the kids attended. It would be interesting to see if any of them parents will write in here about what they are really like.

That poor santa maybe is someone's grandad, and was earning a bit of extra income for xmas.
they said what school the kids attended. It would be interesting to see if any of them parents will write in here about what they are really like. That poor santa maybe is someone's grandad, and was earning a bit of extra income for xmas. dant40

1:10pm Thu 20 Dec 12

bart-on simpson says...

This really lit up my day - it thoroughly deserves to be headline news.

I have not laughed so much since the coppers went sledging on their riot shields.
This really lit up my day - it thoroughly deserves to be headline news. I have not laughed so much since the coppers went sledging on their riot shields. bart-on simpson

1:13pm Thu 20 Dec 12

dant40 says...

bart-on simpson wrote:
This really lit up my day - it thoroughly deserves to be headline news.

I have not laughed so much since the coppers went sledging on their riot shields.
Haha!! Your right bart
[quote][p][bold]bart-on simpson[/bold] wrote: This really lit up my day - it thoroughly deserves to be headline news. I have not laughed so much since the coppers went sledging on their riot shields.[/p][/quote]Haha!! Your right bart dant40

1:15pm Thu 20 Dec 12

bart-on simpson says...

With the world predicted to end on the 21st Dec , maybe that will turn out to be the “worst day of our lives”.

And Santa won't even get to deliver his pressies...
With the world predicted to end on the 21st Dec [there is one group every year it seems to me making such claims; and by the way, what time Oxford time on the 21st, please?], maybe that will turn out to be the “worst day of our lives”. And Santa won't even get to deliver his pressies... bart-on simpson

2:10pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Cluck79 says...

If it is the same Father Christmas, a few years ago, he started spouting political views to my son, who was about 6 at the time. I thought was very strange.
If it is the same Father Christmas, a few years ago, he started spouting political views to my son, who was about 6 at the time. I thought was very strange. Cluck79

2:14pm Thu 20 Dec 12

pinksnowstorm says...

we went on sunday it was a different father Christmas, he was fab, we also went last year and had no problems, Shame the family encountered this one.... I no £5.99 is quite expensive but you do get a quality gift at the end and anyways its upto mum and dad if they want to pay it, its once a year, so why not......also he does not sit kids on his knee, .....
we went on sunday it was a different father Christmas, he was fab, we also went last year and had no problems, Shame the family encountered this one.... I no £5.99 is quite expensive but you do get a quality gift at the end and anyways its upto mum and dad if they want to pay it, its once a year, so why not......also he does not sit kids on his knee, ..... pinksnowstorm

3:18pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Sacked for telling the truth !!

10 and still believes in Father Christmas, I doubt it.
Sacked for telling the truth !! 10 and still believes in Father Christmas, I doubt it. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree