NORTH POLE: Santa announced today that he would close is famed Workshop effective February 1, 2010, due to the new US federal toy safety law.

"The new US law doesn't recognize hand made toys and just adds a huge expense to making toys so they can be brought into the country," Santa said.

The new US law was passed because Chinese made toys had lead paint and other toxic chemicals in them. The new law requires toys to be tested before being allowed to be sold.

"I don't use lead paint on my toys and never have," said Santa.

"Maybe the US ought to allow a toy shop to be certified toxic free instead of requiring every hand made toy to be tested," Santa said.

Hand made toy shops across America have been lobbying Congress to exempt them from the testing requirement. They were stunned when Santa joined their effort.

"Every time the government does something stupid, it just re-enforces the belief that there is now way the government could run a decent health care program." said a hand made toy maker from Maine.