An Anglican vicar has apologised to parents for telling a congregation at a family service that Father Christmas and the tooth fairy do not exist. We have no evidence on the tooth fairy, but have been monitoring Santa's movements.

His first appearance this year was on 21 June, when a Finnish Santa Claus, Heikki Martikainen, was one of the passengers on a hijacked Nippon Airways jumbo jet in Japan. He had been touring Japan promoting Finland and Lapland. Santa turned up later the same day in court in Wellington, New Zealand, where he was sentenced to six months' detention for breaking the security glass at a service station last Christmas when refused a free ice-cream.

This may explain why, on the following day, the Santa Claus House in Alaska had no Santa. "The Santa from last year made other plans," they said. His jail sentence may also have been the cause of a schism at the 32nd World Santa Claus Conference in Copenhagen. The Finns boycotted the event making up some spurious tale instead of admitting the truth.

Released in early December, probably for good behaviour, he caught a teenaged thief in a Sheffield grotto, ran a course for Father Christmases in London, and was harassed by police and arrested in Washington DC. Since then, however, he has started his own site on the Internet and been given a postcode H0H 0H0 in Canada.

A disturbing report from Hollywood, however, may curtail his Christmas activities. There is, it seems, a growing demand for an aphrodisiac tea made from ground reindeer antlers at pounds 50 an ounce.