But there is one jolly old fellow among us who is set for a very merry festive period indeed – we’re talking of course about Santa.
Boys and girls in the UK traditionally leave out a mince pie and a glass of sherry to help their favourite gift-giver through his delivery shift.
But just how much booze is Santa Claus going to consume on Christmas Eve? The JPI Media Data Unit has done some very scientific calculations to find out the answer.
National Records of Scotland figures show there are an estimated 591,000 households with children in Scotland.
If every one of those left him a standard 50ml glass of sherry, old Kris Kringle will make his way through an average of 498,000 units of alcohol as he travels around the nation’s homes.
That’s based on the average 17% strength of more than 30 different kinds of sherry being sold in the big four supermarkets of Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons right now – we told you this was scientific.
To give an idea of what a Herculean task this would be, that’s almost 36,000 times more than Santa’s recommended weekly limit of 14 units.
All those glasses of sherry together would equate to more than 29.5 million millilitres of booze, or 29,550 litres.
To put that into context, that’s about 369 average sized bathtubs full of fortified wine, enough to fill three concrete mixer lorries.
The average human body holds about 10 pints of blood, or 5.7 litres.
That means the very super-human Father Christmas will have consumed an amount of sherry equal to 5,277 times as much blood as is currently coursing through your veins by the time you wake up on Christmas morning.
The short answer, of course, is absolutely not – but let’s work out the long answer.
Given Santa’s famously portly appearance, we are going to assume he is 5ft 10, and weighs 15 stone – this would put his BMI just on the cusp of the obese range.
We can calculate Santa’s blood alcohol content based on his weight, and the hours since his last drink.
Let’s also assume he spends five hours delivering presents, between 11pm and 4am. If he spent all that time in Scotland alone, he would be almost 12,500 times over the country’s drink drive limit of 0.05% by the time he drained the last drop of sherry.
Hopefully Rudolph’s navigation skills are up to scratch, as we doubt Santa will be much use finding his way home after a session like that. What a champ.