Now, I should like to reassure Mrs Rusty Duck that there was actually a real Steward's Enquiry and this was the outcome...
(Cue the Official Notification of the Steward's Enquiry into the Dead Heat of the Tri-Annual Reindeer Race...)
'In my official capacity of Steward of the Race Arena, I, Stewart Stuart Steward, declare the following result - in playing back the papyrus recording of the aforesaid race, it was ascertained that the rear-end nudging commented upon by the esteemed race commentator, Mrs Laetitia Miggins, was, in fact, non-existent and on further enquiry, revealed to be nothing more than Mrs Miggins wearing her reading glasses when she should have been wearing her distance prescription. Also, I, Stewart Stuart Steward, admit to being dazzled by a massive shining light in the sky, which could have been a star, and thus I could not wholly see exactly what was occurring for a majority of the home straight. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the enquiry that, given 'tis the season of goodwill to all humans and hens, and there are greater things to get het up about in the world than a nudging reindeer, the result of dead heat will stand. It is also the recommendation of the enquiry that Mrs Miggins gets herself a pair of varifocals as soon as possible.'
Signed, Stewart Stuart Steward (O.S.O.T.R.R)
'Well,' says Daisy, 'that certainly clears things up for me.'
'And the mention of the bright shining star dovetails marvellously with the second verse of 'The First Nowell,' of which I believe we are about to hear a rendition by Mrs Pumphrey,' says Primrose.
'They looked up and saw a star, shining in the east beyond them far. And to the Earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night,' sang Mrs Pumphrey.
'Paaaaarp!' said Harold, who was accompanying her on the trumpet, but unfortunately had only one note in his repertoire.
'So we now need to find a star to follow,' said Tango Pete.
'Take your pick,' said Santa, waving his arm across the sky. There were millions upon gazzilions upon trazzilions of stars out there before them, and behind them, and all around them. In fact, if you were star-phobic you might well be feeling a bit panicky at this point, if you were up there on the sleigh with the intrepid explorers (and I bet some of you wish you were, don't you?!)
'Which one, though?' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'How do we know which is THE star to follow?'
'What we need are some Wise Men,' said Merrily Onhigh, who had been dozing on the back of the sleigh - well, she had been up since five thirty that morning, frying eggs and bacon and brewing tea so strong you could stand a teaspoon upright in it and call it a teaspoon stand.
'Do you know any Wise Men?' said Mrs Pumphrey, hopefully.
''Fraid not,' said Merrily. 'I can lay my feathers on truckers and sales reps a-plenty but no-one who can carry off a fancy velvet hat and ride a camel with any aplomb.'
'But if this star is so bright it continued shining twenty four hours a day,' said Tango Pete, 'that must narrow the options down a bit.'
'It would annoy all the energy companies, wouldn't it?' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'Just think, non-stop light all the time. What an efficient solar-power concept that would be.'
'Black-out blind sales would go though the roof,' added Merrily. 'I don't like them myself. I like to rise with the sun.'
'I had black-out blinds once,' said Harold Angel. 'To help me sleep during the day when I was working the all- night cabaret shift.'
'Did they work for you?' said Merrily.
'Not really,' said Harold. 'I found them very disorientating. Kept waking up thinking it was the middle of the night when it wasn't, and then getting out of my hammock and banging my beak on the wardrobe.'
'What is she waffling about?' says Primrose, glancing across at the official storyteller who has resumed the reins now she is in full possession of her facial muscles once more.
'I think she's just tired,' says Daisy. 'It's been a long week on the creativity front.'
'But blackout blinds?' says Primrose. 'Really???'
And so, because he had little else to do for another two weeks and was rather enjoying the adventure, Santa agreed to fly around the Universe for a while longer in search of either the biggest, brightest star they could find and/ or some convenient Wise Men. And because he'd already had fifteen phone calls from Mrs Claus asking him where the heck he was and could he come home immediately because some of the elves were kicking off with the excessive overtime they were having to do because of a recent population explosion in Titbury von Streudelheim, he switched off his mobile phone and stuffed it in his enormous sack somewhere between the novelty nutcrackers and the comedy underpants.
(P.S Andy says my lady readers will be chuckling away at that last bit - can't think why...)