If you thought sneaking into every house on the planet in one night was impressive, Santa even went into space to deliver presents.

Six astronauts received their Christmas gifts on Sunday. Better late than never, and Santa can't really be blamed, as it was a private supply ship that took a month to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS).

The astronauts on the ISS were pleased to receive the Orbital Sciences Corp vessel which came packed with 1,360kg of groceries, equipment and experiments plus Christmas gifts from the astronauts' families. Even ants made their way up as part of an educational project.

NASA relies on private companies to keep the orbiting lab well stocked in this post-shuttle era. It may even depend on the companies for rides to and from space for US astronauts too.

The package was held up after a space station breakdown in mid-December and NASA delayed the launch. Or was it all a cover-up to keep Santa out of the public eye?