A British Bad Santa has been sacked after allegedly telling children he wasn’t really Father Christmas and talking about the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
According to The Telegraph, the man — who was employed on a freelance basis at Notcutts Garden Center in Oxford, England for ten years — is alleged to have made the astonishing comments to the children of one family.
Wendy Kennett, 33, and husband Steven took their children — Ryan, 10; Amy, 7; and Katie, 6 — to the garden center to see Father Christmas. As one would expect, the children sat on the Santa’s knee and told him they had been good boys and girls.
It was at this point that the Santa allegedly told the children,”Well there are bad people in the world and bad things happen, like what happened to those children in America,” the Huffington Post reports.
Mrs. Kennett said the Santa then started regaling the children in detail about the mass shootings in Newtown before her stunned husband interrupted him. The Santa reportedly then asked to speak to 10-year-old Ryan alone.
Moments later, the boy ran out of the store grotto crying and told his mother: “Santa told me he is not real, it’s just you and dad.”
Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Kennett told The Telegraph, “I was totally furious. I now had three children in tears. It was the worst day of my life.”
Jim Hawker, a spokesman for Notcutts Garden Center said:
“We have accepted the customers’ version of events and have dismissed the Santa, apologised and refunded the family.”
“The individual has been dismissed from the position and replaced with another Santa for the festive period. Notcutts certainly feels this was an error of judgment on behalf of the individual.”
Mr. Hawker also said the Santa had worked at the center for many years and received no other complaints, said The Telegraph.
Oddly, the Kennett family — who were bought tickets to a Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park by Notcutt’s — also found fault with a balloon artist at a nearby eatery, The Hungry Horse, that same day. Reportedly, when the Kennett children told the balloon artist they had written to Father Christmas, he replied:
“That was a waste of time. Santa is my best friend, we went skiing last weekend and he told me that he doesn’t bother reading letters because he has got better things to do.”
The Hungry Horse offered the Kennett family a complimentary meal, notes The Telegraph.