This is a beautiful Christmas Story.  


Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at the McAllister
Mall in Saint John . The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.
Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling. "Your friend?
"Yes, Santa,' he replied. "My sister,  Sarah, who is very sick," he said sadly.
Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing
her eyes with a tissue. "She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much,
Santa!" the child exclaimed. "She misses you," he added softly.
Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking him what
he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.
When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his
lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.
"What is it?" Santa asked warmly.
"Well, I know it's really too much to ask you, Santa, but.." the old woman began,
shooing her grandson over to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which
Santa gave all his young visitors.
"The girl in the photograph... my granddaughter well, you see ... she has leukemia
and isn't expected to make it even through the holidays," she said through tear-filled
eyes. "Is there any way, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah?
That's all she's asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa."
Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with
his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought
of little else the rest of that afternoon.  He knew what he had to do. "What if it were
MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he thought with a sinking heart,
"This is the least I can do."
When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from
his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant
location manager how to get to the Hospital.
"Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.
Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother earlier that day.
"C'mon.....I'll take you there." Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital
and came inside with Santa.
They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said, he would wait out
in the hall.
Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little
Sarah in the bed.
The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother
and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was
Sarah's mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead.
And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near
the bed with a weary sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could
sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.
Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room,
bellowing a hearty, "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah, weakly as she tried to escape her bed to run to
him IV tubes intact.
Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug.

A child the tender age of his own son -- 9 years old -- gazed up at him with wonder
and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from
the effects of chemotherapy. But, all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of, huge
blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though
his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of
the women in the room.
As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one,
squeezing Santa's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "Thank you" as they
gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes. Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and
she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd
been a very good girl that year.
As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and
asked for permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the
entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely
at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.
"Oh, yes, Santa... I do!" she exclaimed.
"Well, I'm going to ask angels watch over you." he said.  Laying one hand on
the child's head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that, God touch
little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister
to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed,
he started singing, softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night....all is calm, all is bright." 
The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of
hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.
When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's
frail, small hands in his own.  "Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you
have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to
have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at
my house at McAllister Mall this time next year!"
He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal
cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could --
not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of HOPE.
"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.
Out in the hall, the minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between
them and they wept unashamed.
Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed
to Santa's side to thank him.
"My only child is the same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the
least I could do." They nodded with understanding and hugged him.
One year later, Santa was again back on the set in Saint John for his six-week,
seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one
day a child came up to sit on his lap.
"Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"
"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her.
After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each child feel
as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.
"You came to see me in the hospital last year!"
Santa's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed
this little miracle and held her to his chest.  "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely
recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy --
much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.
He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines
smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.
That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.
He had witnessed --and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about --
this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free.
Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered,
"Thank you, Father. 'Tis a very, Merry Christmas!
If you believe in miracles you will pass this on...I did!


CharlieE said...

Debunked years ago by Snopes....but you knew that.


Anonymous said...

The McAllister Mall is in St. John, New Brunswick Canada.

I think it should be an inspiration to us all that the socialist, single-payer, Canadian government healthcare system apparently works very, very well.

Please pass this on to all of your conservative friends and family! I'm sure that there will be many similar email stories originating from the US once the affordable care act is in full swing.

gruaud said...

Of interest.


Anonymous said...

So of a child does die of cancer, it means God didn't care about them? Or did their family just not pray hard enough?

Thomas said...

Wait...Santa, not Jesus, not God...but a mall Santa made a miracle happen? I'm confused.

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