This article originally appeared on VICE US
At first, Sunday's neighborhood Christmas party in St. Ives, England, was nothing but delightful: About 50 kids were hanging out in a quaint community center with their parents, eagerly awaiting a chance to go see Santa and his "Chief Snowman," who'd give them each a free present. But the thing descended into complete fucking chaos when a fire alarm went off in the building, leading old Saint Nick to rip off his costume and start screaming and cursing at a bunch of terrified children, the Cambridge News reports.
Things went south after a "family-friendly rave" happening downstairs apparently got too lit and someone turned on the fog machine, which triggered the fire alarm. According to CNN, that wasn't too big a deal: All the parents and kids at the holiday party just started calmly evacuating the building. And then Santa showed up.
"He came charging in, ripped his hat and beard off in front of 50-odd kids and started shouting and swearing at people to leave," Adam Gaynor, who was at the party, wrote on Facebook.
He reportedly yelled that everyone needed to "get the fuck out," which was, you know, pretty devastating for the kids there. In an instant, they not only learned that "Santa" was actually just some dude with a fake beard on—they had to grapple with fact the purest, most magical figure in their young lives was dropping F-bombs like some unhinged drunken uncle at Christmas dinner.
"In came angry Santa swearing, using the most vile language," one mother told the Cambridge News. "My friend's little boy was upset as his dad was carrying him when Santa told them to 'get the fuck out.'"
The organizer behind the party, Festival Events St. Ives (FESt), apologized "for any offense or distress caused to parents and children" and sort of came to Santa's defense, praising him for having "immediately assisted in the evacuation of the building." According to CNN, they're going ahead and hosting another party next weekend, though you'd think with all those' kids illusions about Christmas completely shattered, nobody would really want to go. Fortunately, a few parents came up with a way to salvage the situation.
"We told our children he wasn’t the real Santa," one mom told Cambridge News. "He was an imposter and will be going on the naughty list."
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