Santa Claus dies of a heart attack in front of room full of Russian children

Navigating the topic of death with a young child can be a difficult, traumatic experience for parents, especially if the topic is broached by the sudden loss of a loved one. Trying to explain death to a kid because they watched Santa Claus pass away right before their eyes? That's a higher level of awful.

According to The Moscow Times, a group of kindergarteners from Siberia were celebrating the season with a Christmas party, attended by Santa or rather, one of the jolly old fellow's Eastern European iterations, Ded Moroz. A bit of background: Ded Moroz, which translates as Father Frost, was originally celebrated/feared in pre-slavic lore as a wizard or a snow demon, and over the centuries became a central figure in the region's celebrations of the New Year and Christmas.

Anyway, back to the awful.

As part of a school play, Ded Moroz, played by 67-year-old Valery Titenko, danced his way across the stage, until he didn't. Dressed in Ded Moroz's long red, fur-fringed coat, Titenko suffered a heart attack and fell to the ground.

From the Moscow Times:

The group of kids apparently thought that Titenko’s fatal collapse was part of his skit and began giggling. A woman dressed as a clown who was also part of the skit noticed Titenko’s fall and rushed to help him.

Titenko was rushed to the hospital but died before he could get there.

According to The Moscow Times, Titenko was aware of his poor health and had been feeling dreadful earlier in the day. Read the rest

Ho ho no: risk of suffering a heart attack is 40% higher on Christmas Eve

The world is full of shitty holiday gifts: socks, piggy banks with no money in them and Star Wars action figures of characters that had MAYBE four minutes of screen time (I'M NOT VENTING, YOU'RE VENTING). But they all pale in comparison to the present that more people receive on Christmas Eve than on any other day of the year:

From USA Today:

Christmas Eve is the worst day of the year for heart attacks, researchers found, with risk rising nearly 40 percent. More specifically, research showed that most heart attacks hit around 10 p.m. that day.

The observational study analyzed the timing of 283,014 heart attacks reported to the Swedish coronary care unit registry between 1998 to 2013. Findings were published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ.

“We do not know for sure but emotional distress with acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief, and stress increases the risk of a heart attack,” researcher David Erlinge at Lund University’s Department of Cardiology, told The Telegraph. "Excessive food intake, alcohol, long distance traveling may also increase the risk."

According to the study and surprising maybe no one, the folks most prone to suffer a holiday heart attack tend to be over 75 years old or who have a medical history that includes diabetes or coronary artery disease. That said, scientists will have to spend considerably more time in the lab in order to nail down the exact reason why Christmas Eve myocardial infarction is a thing. Until they've got it all sorted out, it's likely a good idea to spend Christmas Eve and other holidays with the friends and family that make your life worth living--having someone around who can dial 911 is a win. Read the rest

These ugly Christmas sweaters have special booze-bottle-holding pockets

At this point, I can't tell if it's a race to the bottom or the top of the "ugly Christmas sweater" genre. Either way, there's a new contender.

An enterprising Etsy shop owner has created a line of one-of-a-kind holiday sweaters that allow you to get your drink on easily. By sewing a giant stocking on the front of some already-ugly sweaters, Berkleysbiz has made it possible for you to carry around an entire bottle of wine or liquor right on your chest. Happy holidays, indeed!

Pro tip: They suggest stuffing the bottom of the stocking with paper towels, so the bottle's top will peek over the stocking's edge.

Prices start at $42.99 and do not include the booze. Read the rest

Police ruin Christmas spirit by pulling over car carrying a massive tree

You know, maybe everyone's favorite felonious scam artist evangelist Jim Bakker was right when he said the goberment wants to outlaw Merry Christmas. Just look at the police officers in Sudbury, Massachusetts who pulled a driver over just because he was transporting a Christmas tree. The department posted a photo of the tree (and what can be seen of the car peeking out from under it) on Facebook, remarking, "Sudbury PD would like to remind you to transport your Holiday trees responsibly. One of our Officer's stopped this vehicle on Route 20 today!" Read the rest

54 adorable holiday Yule Log animations, each by a different artist

Watching a real yule log burn is cool and everything, but Yule Log 2016 has outdone all previous years with 54 fantastical animations on a yule log theme.

All proceeds go to Camp Interactive, a kids' coding camp. Read the rest

Merry Christmas from Groot and Rocket

This is the single most amazing Christmas tree idea I have even seen. It had to be done and Wolfen Moondaughter was the one to do it. See more on her Flickr page.

Happy Holidays to all! Read the rest