The cost of feeding Father Christmas stands at a colossal £13m a year, according to research from Bradford-based Morrisons, but the supermarket chain is doing its bit to help by providing free “wonky” carrots for his trusty reindeer Rudolph.
Morrisons supermarkets across Britain will be giving away 200,000 wonky carrots to support the Christmas tradition of leaving out refreshments for Father Christmas and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
The move aims to introduce children to “wonky” veg and help out parents who might otherwise forget to leave a gift for Father Christmas. It follows new research which reveals that leaving food and drink out for Father Christmas is still a popular tradition. Morrisons estimates that around 6.2 million UK families will leave food out for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
A Morrisons spokesman said: “A typical spread of carrots, mince pies and a glass of sherry sets the average family back £2.10, putting the total cost to UK households at a whopping £13m.
“‘Carrots for Rudolph’ which look misshapen but still taste delicious, will be handed out from the entrances of the 492 Morrisons stores across the UK to help families take part in this annual tradition.”
Morrisons has a carrot washing and packing plant in North Yorkshire, where carrots are sorted into perfect and ‘wonky’ bags.
Jessica Lawson, the head of Morrisons’ carrot plant in Yorkshire, said: “We want to make it easy for our customers to enjoy this magical tradition and highlight that wonky carrots are just as tasty as perfect-looking carrots. They are often cheaper, and there are plenty more available to buy.”
The tradition of leaving food and drink out for Father Christmas can be traced back to ancient Norse mythology, when children would leave out food for Sleipner, the eight-legged horse ridden by Norse God Odin, in the hope that he would stop by on his travels and leave gifts. Other countries have developed their own versions, with American children leaving out cookies and milk, to sustain Santa on what, for him, must be the most gruelling night of the year.