14/08/2014 16:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Mum-Of-Two's Outrage At Skinny Santa

Birmingham Mail

A mum was left fuming when she took her children to see Father Christmas at a garden centre grotto – because the Man in Red was too SKINNY.

Mum-of-two Elisabeth Truran said the Santa used by Notcutts in Shirley, West Midlands, was nothing like the larger-than-life fellow she had expected her kids to meet.

She also claimed he was too young to be Father Christmas.

Elisabeth, 46, said: "He was a skinny Santa. He was a young man and very slim – you would think they would be able to put a cushion inside his jacket."

But Notcutts defended the festive attraction, saying all the company's Santas were hand-picked and given special festive training.

The company's website promises an £8.50 'winter wonderland where Santa awaits you in his magical grotto with farmyard animals and his special reindeer'.

But Elisabeth, who visited the grotto with her children Juliet, five, and Rhianna, seven, said she was disappointed with the offering.

She said: "I wonder where the Christmas spirit has gone. "I've not got many years of Christmas magic left as my eldest is seven."

A Notcutts spokesman said the training given to the company's Santas had been extended this year, covering everything from their voice to how to talk to children about Christmas.

She said: "So far this year, we've had over 1,110 families visit the grotto and have only received positive feedback regarding our Santa and his elves.

"We were, of course, very sorry to hear the Truran family were unsatisfied following their visit to our Solihull grotto.

"We are currently in touch with them to try to rectify this as soon as we can."

The story has echoes of the Winter Wonderland fiasco in Milton Keynes last weekend where parents complained of 'Poundland' Santas and smoking elves.