Santa Claus has been forced to cancel visits to children this Christmas after being struck down with chicken pox.
Santa Dave – real name Dave Upson – voluntarily gives up his time during the Christmas season to visit schools, fetes, and nursing homes in Birmingham.
But he was shocked and upset to be diagnosed with chicken pox at the age of 71 and has spent the last five days at home in bed.
Santa Dave has had to cancel his last six appointments after being struck down with the illness on Saturday. Dave, from Oldbury, said: “I have had to cancel the last six visits of the season. It is very upsetting as I don’t like to let anyone down.
“I think I’m past the worst now. It’s day five and I’m told I’m not infectious anymore. I just look awful that children will run a mile from me.
“I’m hoping to be well enough to go to enjoy my Christmas dinner.
“I have been on antiviral medication and pain killers and have to go back after Christmas for a check up.
“It is very upsetting for me as I love to spread some festive joy. I enjoy seeing the joy on people’s faces, especially children.”
Santa Dave keeps around 70 appointments at schools, fetes and nursing homes during the festive period.