Feds Open US Border —to Santa's Reindeer
'USDA wants to do everything in its power to help Santa'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2015 2:17 PM CST
Santa's reindeer have gotten the appropriate USDA permits to come and go from the US this Christmas.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

(Newser) – If you wake up Christmas morning and don't find any gifts from Santa under the tree, don't blame the federal government. On Wednesday, the USDA issued permits to Santa's reindeer to come and go through any of the country's northern border ports beginning Christmas Eve and ending Christmas morning. "During this season of giving, we agreed to waive the normal application fees, and entry inspection/overtime costs," USDA’s chief veterinary officer says. "USDA wants to do everything in its power to help Santa." Santa, it should be noted, is officially listed as an employee of Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited.

In addition to waiving all fees and costs, the USDA will not be testing Santa's reindeer for diseases, as a recent inspection found the animals were "healthy and able to prance and paw with each hoof." The permit is conditional upon Santa following the strict dietary regulations for reindeer ("hay, sugar plums, and gingerbread") and not attempting to smuggle any non-canon reindeer into the country. And, of course, only "one reindeer in the group may be visibly affected by ‘Rednose Syndrome.'"