January 27, 2023

ADDING kids to the list of naughty kids this year looks like a costly move for Santa because the price of a piece of coal is skyrocketing.

Saint Nick traditionally leaves a piece of black cloth, not a gift, in troublemakers’ stockings to encourage them to behave better.



Saint Nick traditionally leaves a piece of black cloth in the stockings of troublemakers, not a gift.

But cost of 50 kg bag of coal has jumped 40% over the past decade and is now £25 from £15 in 2012.

This also makes it more than two and a half times more expensive than it was in 2002.

Coal prices have risen to record highs this year.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted most countries to look for an alternative to the Kremlin’s oil, driving prices up.


Sanctions on Russian coal have also caused global price increases due to lack of supply in some markets.

This means that the tradition of using charcoal in stockings, dating back hundreds of years and rooted in German folklore, may need to be rethought.

Katherine Shuttleworth, retail analyst at Savvy Marketing, said: “Santa has a tough choice to make this year and may need to tighten his belt as the cost of Christmas skyrocketed.


“Starting with the price of reindeer food going up, the skyrocketing electricity costs to keep his workshop running, and even lumps of coal for those who weren’t as good as they should be.

“This means that Santa will pay a lot more for coal than last Christmas.”

However, rewarding well-behaved children with cheap and cheerful stocking stuffers is also becoming less accessible.


The typical price of such gifts is now £37, analysts say.

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