As natives of the Arctic Circle, reindeer are pretty used to trotting about in wintry weather.Yup, it's Christmas, and we'll have no frivolity or enjoying oneself here.
So you might not have thought a market town in the East Midlands would pose much of a problem for them.
But health and safety officers had other ideas after 12 were booked to entertain shoppers in Market Harborough.
They banned the animals from parading round the town square after ruling it was too dangerous --because it might snow.They are aware that reindeer just live in snow, they don't actually bring it, aren't they?
Officials put up posters saying: 'There is a risk of slips and falls to attendees at the event, when the conditions get worse.'
And as the furious shopkeepers pointed out, it didn't make sense to cancel the festivities if it was going to snow anyway:
Malcolm Lever-Jones, independent traders' spokesman, said: 'It is health and safety gone barmy and completely ruined the festive mood.It makes perfect sense when you realise that it isn't their money...
'Hundreds of people had come from up to 40 miles away and were dreadfully disappointed.
'The council said there was a risk of snow and ice to pedestrians but with or without the reindeer the streets were still icy. None of the town centre was cordoned off. It just made no sense.'
He estimated the cost to the taxpayer of cancelling Friday's event at around £10,000.As Ranting Stan points out, this is now normal behaviour for local councils in the increasingly litigious UK, where to do nothing keeps them safe from claims, while to do something might put them at risk.
A Harborough Council spokesman said: 'Obviously, the reindeer would have loved the snow. But sadly we decided to cancel because of the possible danger to people, including young children.'Ahh, yes. We must, after all, think of the children...