PERFORMING SANTA HAS HEART ATTACK, DIES IN FRONT OF RUSSIAN KIDS
Well, this is not a fun Christmas story. A school play featured Santa Claus but the performance didn’t go off without a hitch. The Russian Santa had a heart attack and collapsed. But then he died. So these kids essentially now know there is no Santa. But that’s because they saw Santa die in front of them. So for many of these kids, that first conversation about death will forever be tied to both Christmas as well as Santa Claus. Mine was my great grandfather. He taught me to whistle with my teeth. I’ll never forget. So you can be these kids will never forget, either. They saw Santa go down forever.
Read More: This Season, Do Singalongs When You Travel
IN RUSSIA, THEY CALL SANTA DED MOROZ, OR FATHER FROST
But of course it would be culturally unfair to not be more specific. There is no Santa Claus in Russia. They call their Santa Ded Moroz. Sure, that sounds like a gangster monster name. But it really means Father Frost. Way back in pre marketing and retail days, pre-Slavic culture knew him as a wizard or even a snow demon. But now, centuries later, he’s the local icon for both the New Year as well as Christmas. But not for these poor kids, ever again.
SICKLY SANTA DIDN’T CANCEL ON THE KIDS
Ded Moroz was played by the 67-year-old performer, Valery Titenko. He had evidently been feeling really awful earlier that day. But he decided to perform anyway. He really didn’t want to cancel and leave all the kids disappointed. Poor Valery. He was literally dancing across the stage when he collapsed. The kids, of course, thought his fall was part of the show. So they giggled. Another performer rushed to his aid when she saw he had fallen. But Valery passed away before he could get to the hospital for any help.
So keep your family close this year! And keep an eye on Santa…..