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Get Ready to Cry, Boy Gets Final Wish to See Santa and Dies in His Arms

Get ready to hear the saddest fucking Christmas story of all time. Also, assholes who sang The Christmas Shoes, get ready to milk this for a sequel.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen is a professional Santa. Not some drunk who sobers up around the holidays enough to get $30 for having kids sit in his lap at the mall. No, Eric takes it seriously, works over 80 jobs a year and even grows his own impressive Santa beard. He works so hard to play the character right to see the joy he brings to children year round.

This year, he got a call from the hospital saying a very sick boy wanted to see Santa. He said he’d change into his suit and come over, but they insisted there wasn’t time.

With his merry face, snow white beard, and Santa suspenders, Schmitt-Matzen went to the hospital and realized the seriousness of the situation. The boy was only 5 years old and incredibly close to death. The mother handed Eric a toy for the child. The family was so emotional, Eric asked for them to stay outside the room and watch through the windows, for if he saw them crying he’d certainly lose it and ruin the boy’s impression of Santa.

The rest of the story was told to the Knoxville News-Sentinel by Schmitt-Matzen himself.

“When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!

“He looked up and said, ‘I am?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’

“I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down.

‘“They say I’m gonna die,’ he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’

“I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’

“He said, ‘Sure!’

“When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.

“He said, ‘They will?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’

“He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’

“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.

“Everyone outside the room realized what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, ‘No, no, not yet!’ I handed her son back and left as fast as I could.

“I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of (stuff). But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.’”

Eric thought that might have been his Santa’s last delivery. But with another job scheduled in the season, he pushed through and the delight of the children reminded him of the joy his Santa can bring.

So, if you’re bitching about your mother-in-law being annoying or what a pain it is to get to the mall this time of year, read this story and realize at least you didn’t have a tiny child DIE IN THE ARMS OF ST. NICK.

[Image: Eric J. Schmitt-Matzen Facebook]

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