First of all, Santa Claus (or Father Christmas as the British call him) is bald. Secondly, as anyone who has ever contemplated his December 24th work load must have guessed, he's a little disgruntled about the whole ruddy business. Briggs projects Santa's day in comic strip sequence and balloon monologue, from his waking from a dream of sun through his grumpy dressing, breakfast, packing up and departure (""Blooming snow. . . I hate winter. . . Keep still you silly deers. . . tally ho!""), his delivery rounds (""blooming chimneys. . . blooming snow. . . blooming aerials""), past a milkman (' ""Still at it mate?' 'Nearly done' "") to a drop at the palace, and at last home to his hot bath and ""lovely pud"" and ""good drop of ale"" -- and of course ""happy blooming Christmas to you too."" You don't have to be British to take to this very human Father Christmas -- but it helps to have an open eye for all the throwaway background detail.