One moment, Santa was dashing along the road in his one-horse open sleigh; the next he was sprawled on the road being treated by paramedics.
Poor Santa, reportedly under the weather from a little too much festive cheer, ended up sprawled over the main street of Ustrzykach Dolnych, in Poland, following the accident.
Santa, 51, and his 31-year-old female helper, were the intended attraction at a local market and, according to reports, had been singing carols and waving to locals before the accident.
However, they may have been in no condition to take to the road in their horse-drawn sleigh.
Reports suggest the pair had set off and were weaving down the road, prompting a passing motorist to sound his horn.
The horn spooked the horse. The animal reared and the sleigh collided with the corner of a building, tossing the pair on to the road.
Both were concussed and taken to hospital.
Media quoted police spokesman Dorota Glazowska as saying: “Technically, they were drunk while in charge of a vehicle on the road.”
Witness Zdzislaw Molodynski said: “They … were clearly under the influence, behaving like they had just come out of a nightclub or something. Then a car started beeping them, which threw the horse into a panic. It reared up and sent them smashing into the wall on the corner of the street.”
One woman, Magda Dudzinska, said she was pleased her seven-year-old child did not get to meet this particular Santa.
“I’m not happy they had a crash or are in hospital, but I’m delighted we didn’t get to meet them.Who knows what they would have done in that state. They were clearly in no state to deal with children.”
It is unclear whether Santa will transfer his own name from the “nice” list to the “naughty” list.
Pictures of the accident scene can be seen here.