A British mother says her Christmas was ruined by one very unlikely scrooge: Santa Claus.

Wendy Kennett of Oxfordshire says she took her kids, aged 6, 7, and 10, to see Santa at a local garden center in the village of Nuneham Courtenay, so they could sit on his lap.

he experience cost the family £5.99 (~$9.70) per child, and was not satisfactory in the least.

Right off the bat, Santa met the children's claim that they had been good by retorting, "Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen, like what happened to those children in America."

He then started to brief them on the tragic events that transpired last week in Newtown, Connecticut, before their father, Steven, abruptly cut him off.

But Bad Santa wasn't nearly through: According to Kennett, the man then sent her two girls away so he could "have a word with their brother." Santa then leaned over and whispered in the boy's ear, causing him to bust into tears.

He later informed his mother that Santa told him he wasn't real, "it's just you and dad."

A complaint to the garden center's management initially went unheeded, but Notcutts later released a statement saying it has "accepted the customers' version of events and have dismissed the Santa, apologised and refunded the family."

The Kennetts and their children also received complimentary passes to Winter Wonderland in London.

Sadly, the childhood trauma tour wasn't quite over for the Kennett kids.

At a nearby restaurant, the Mr. and Mrs. Kennett tried to cheer their offspring up by asking a balloon artist to sculpt them some poodles.

However, when the kids told him about having written to Santa, the twister responded that it was "a waste of time" and that he was best friends with Santa having gone skiing with him last week and knows for a fact that "he doesn't bother reading letters because he has got better things to do."

The family was offered a complimentary meal for the trouble, but the children had lost their appetite and Kennetts decided it was best just to go home.

[H/T: Arbroath, photo via Oxford Mail]