I’ve often wondered how much pleasure individuals who play Santa had throughout the holiday season.
It can’t be an easy job – the stress of living up to the expectations of every youngster you see would break me – yet there must be a great sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
After all, a good Santa has the ability to put a smile on the faces of all children, regardless of their attitude, and simply knowing they’re establishing a sense of enchantment in a world that urgently needs it must be like a soothing salve for the soul.
Few Santas, however, have ever experienced such a harrowing, fatal circumstance as Eric Schmitt-Matzen, mechanical engineer and co-owner of Packaging Seals & Engineering, who plays Father Christmas for events and performances every year.
According to sources, Eric had just returned home from work one day in 2016 when he received an urgent call from a Tennessee hospital.
Eric told the reporters that the other end of the telephone was a nurse who had phoned him because there was a terminally ill five-year-old kid in the hospital whose ultimate wish was to meet Santa.
Eric raced to the hospital and met with the boy’s mother, who handed him a Paw Patrol figurine that her kid had particularly requested for Christmas. Eric accepted the present, requesting the boy’s family to wait outside while he saw the youngster; he didn’t want to cry in front of the child if his family became upset.
According to Eric’s version, he then entered the ICU, sat at the end of the boy’s bed, and said, “What’s this, I hear you’re going to be missing Christmas this year?”
“They say I’m going to die,” the child said after opening his present. “How will I know when I arrive at my destination?”
Eric allegedly then requested the youngster to perform him a favor.
“When you get up to them Pearly Gates, you just tell them you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in,” he went on to say.
The small child sat up in his bed and hugged Eric tightly. Eric subsequently informed reporters that the five-year-old died in his arms.
“He was in my arms when I felt him pass,” said the man.
A CANCER CHILD DIES IN SANTA’S ARMS! 🎅🏼😔🖤🕊.A 60-year-old guy who works as Santa Claus had a really tragic experience…Oh No World on Saturday, December 9, 2023
“I served four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers and saw a lot of (stuff).” “However, I ran by the nurses’ station, bawling my eyes out.”
According to insiders, Eric’s terrible experience made him rethink if he still wanted to be Santa. He was reminded of what had motivated him to take up the role in the first place after pushing himself to attend an event the next day… the love, laughing, and delight of the youngsters he encounters.
Eric’s version of events was called into doubt just days after his story went viral in December of 2016. The Knoxville News Sentinel, which broke the story initially, included an editor’s note at the top of the piece stating that it was unable to “independently verify” Eric’s statement.
Eric replied by saying he was wounded by the concerns about his account’s authenticity.
“I feel like I’ve been used and then hung out to dry,” he told TIME in a text message.
“I emphasized from the very beginning that I intended to keep my word and not disclose any information that could lead to the folks’ identity.”
“Now I’m being made out to be a liar,” he continued. I attempted to perform a good deed by relaying the tale of what happened to me… and now the press mocks me for maintaining my ground.”
This narrative had the potential to move me to tears. If Eric’s gesture moved you, please write a remark in the box.