Watch Venomous Snake Hiding in Christmas Tree Surprise Family, Now We Need a New National Lampoon’s Movie

Santa coming down the chimney is par for the course on Dec. 24. So are flying reindeer, one in particular with a lit-up nose. You’ll probably also see plenty of inflatable penguins (for reasons we’re still unclear on) in people’s yards this holiday season. But what’s not part of any Christmas folklore is a venomous snake slithering out of a Christmas tree and surprising a family.

But it could be, if art (or even just urban myth) imitates life anytime soon. That’s because a brood in South Africa was recently scared silly to discover a scaly creature creeping out of its Christmas tree – and the video of it is both terrifying and hilarious enough to warrant its own National Lampoon movie.

Take a look:

Rob Wild (yes, that’s his real last name) is a British stock market trader who lives with his Costa Rican wife, Marcela, in Robertson, the Western Cape. Shortly after they finished decorating their Christmas tree, they noticed their cats were staring intently at it – and not in a cutesy “Oh, Christmas Tree” kind of way.

“The cats were peering into the tree and my wife said ‘there’s probably a mouse in there somewhere,'” Rob recalled to CNN.

While a mouse might have inspired a scream from any one of us, what the couple found was even more freakout-worthy.

“I didn’t know what it was at the time but then I Googled what snakes are in our area and it came up immediately as a boomslang,” Rob told CNN. “I thought ‘holy Moses, this is the king of all poisonous snakes.'”

Indeed, the boomslang is known as the most venomous snake in Africa. Its venom is potentially fatal and can make a person hemorrhage.

The Wilds called in a professional snake catcher named Gerrie Heyns, who warned them not to touch the snake but to keep an eye on it. It took Heyns two hours to arrive. When he did, he transferred the snake to the ground with tongs and determined the snake was female that measured between 4 and 5 feet long.

“Once I had it under control the family came right up to see the snake,” he told CNN. “It didn’t try to bite or be defensive because I gave it no reason to. A scary moment turned into an exciting moment for the children.”

Heyns transferred the animal into a tube and later released it into the wild.

We don’t know about you, but instead of charging the tree on Christmas morning, we’re going to approach it a little more cautiously this year. Thanks for ruining our favorite holiday, you stupid snake.

Cover Photo: YouTube