A Finnish court ordered Santa Park in the north of the country to pay compensation to three of the underground amusement park's former elves for replacing them with temporary workers.
The park - which is located in the town of Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle and boasts that it employs the world's only "official" Santa Claus - has been ordered to pay the employees 5,600 euros (£4,000, $8,300) each in damages.
Santa Park director Wille Rajala said the lay-offs were necessary for the struggling business, which fired all its full-time elves the following year.
"We started to reorganize our business in the second half of 2003 and we had to terminate the work contracts of these three people," said Wille Rajala, director of Santa Park. The court said there were no grounds for temporary lay-offs.