Barack Obama spread some much-needed holiday cheer at a Children’s hospital, Wednesday. The former president wore Santa Claus attire and sang Christmas carols with nurses and doctors. The visit brought a festive cheer to kids and their parents. The visit at Children’s National Hospital in D.C. lifted many spirits in what is a difficult time of year for many families.
“I just want to say thank you to all of you guys,” Obama said. “We had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families.”
“At a time that obviously is tough for folks, as a dad of two girls, you know, I can only imagine.”
“In that situation, to have nurses and staff and doctors and people who are caring for them, and looking after them, and listening to them and just there for them, and holding their hand… that’s the most important thing there is.”
“What a great reminder of what the holiday spirit is supposed to be about.”
As former the president wandered the halls, he delivered presents to the kids. “He carried a sack of toys,” Daily Mail writes, “including remote-control cars, Hot Wheels sets, nail polish, jigsaw puzzles and more.”
In addition to the gifts, Obama brought a lot of cheer. He danced with some of the patients, and hugged many more.
“Merry Christmas and happy holidays to the extraordinary kids, families, and staff at Children’s National. And thanks for humoring me as your stand-in Santa,” he later posted to Twitter.
“At such a busy time of year,”Kurt Newman, chief executive and president of Children’s National Health System said, “when no one wants to be in the hospital, his natural warmth lifted the spirits of those kids, their parents and of each staff member he met along the way.”
“This afternoon, President Obama had the pleasure of visiting with children and families at Children’s National hospital in northwest DC,” Obama’s office said in a statement.
“During today’s visit, President Obama greeted individual patients in their rooms and stopped by several playrooms, bringing Christmas gifts that he and his staff had collected.”
“He had the chance to spend some time with parents and siblings of kids who are spending the holidays in the hospital, and he also recorded a short message for the hospital’s internal TV system, wishing all the patients he couldn’t visit today a wonderful holiday season.”