The market employee, dressed as Father Christmas, threatened the vendor, who happened to be his nephew, with an unloaded gun at the market in Bordeaux, southern France, starting an altercation on Sunday.
"It's a family problem," market spokeswoman Florence Cambon told AFP.
The arrested Père Noël was released later in the day, but his pine-tree selling nephew has filed an official complaint.
"From tomorrow we will have a new Father Christmas until December 24th," Cambon promised.
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