Santa Claus has passed away. Stand by to wipe away your children’s tears and cancel Christmas, a Norwegian newspaper has claimed that Santa Claus has died aged 226. Norway’s second-largest newspaper Aftenposten published an obituary for Santa that claims that Santa was born December 12, 1788, and was said to have died on December 3 in Nordkapp, Norway’s northernmost point. Santa’s funeral, it was claimed, is to be held on December 28 at the North Pole.
However, according to BBC News, Santa watchers can breathe a sigh of relief because, as Mark Twain might have said, “reports of Santa’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”
According to the Guardian, Santa’s obituary featured a picture of a cross and gave Santa’s age as 227 at the time of his passing. The author of Santa’s obituary was said to be “the whole world.” No cause was given for Santa’s demise.
It seems that Aftenposten has been forced to apologize to its readers after it emerged that claims that Santa was dead were found to be incorrect. A spokesperson for the paper said that its internal procedures have failed in reporting Santa’s demise and apologized for any distress that had been caused to Santa’s fans.
“An error in Aftenposten’s internal procedures led to a fictional obituary of Santa Claus [being] published in our digital systems.
“Aftenposten has strict guidelines for both the content and use of symbols in our obituaries. This ad is a violation of these and should never have been published.”
The obituary for Santa was immediately removed from the newspaper’s website and its digital version as soon as the paper was made aware of the error.
The National Sun Times reports that kids around the world can relax and look forward to Christmas because the NORAD Santa Tracker indicates that Santa is alive and well and will still visit children around the world on December 25.
The New York Daily News reports that while the Aftenposten obituary at least acknowledges Santa Claus exists, readers were furious at the reporting of Santa’s demise, and outrage led to a swift retraction and an apology from the paper. Sadly, this is not the first negative story that has surrounded Santa this year. Back in August, the Independent reported that Santa had filed for bankruptcy over a $250,000 tax bill.
It seems that Santa’s office is based in Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland. Apparently, around 300,000 people from around the world visit Santa in his office at a Christmas-related theme park called Santa Claus Village. Sadly, Santa’s business has suffered as a result of the poor economic situation in Europe, but it was a drop-off in tourist numbers from Russia that really damaged trade.
As news of Santa’s bankruptcy emerged, Santa’s staff said that they were determined to ensure that the spirit of Christmas continued in Santa Claus’ Office. A post on Santa’s Office Facebook page reassured potential visitors.
“Despite the current news, lets keep smiling and work for a better future. Tide will change, we have a week to turn this around. With love, the Santa’s Helpers at Santa Claus Office.”
Interestingly, Santa Claus’ office helped explain how Santa managed to traverse the globe and deliver presents to children across the world all in one night.
“Christmas is not celebrated everywhere at the same time. For example in Russia Christmas will be on January 7th. That gives Santa Claus and the Elves almost two extra weeks to prepare and it indeed lightens the sleigh’s load on December 24th! Also Santa Claus’ pal Ded Moroz (Father Frost) helps by delivering some of the presents on New Year’s Eve.”
[Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP]