The Short of It
A photo of Santa holding a portrait on his lap of a baby who passed away is going viral, and it's reminding people what's really important this holiday season.
A rare request from a father to a mall St. Nick has touched the hearts of thousands of people across the Internet.
Caleb Ryan Sigmon works at a Georgia mall as Mr. Claus himself, and he shares his "Stories From The Big Chair" on Facebook. He posted a photo about a recent encounter with a grieving father:
"A man walked in today holding something in his arms. 'I have a request,' he said, turning around this picture frame. He took a moment. 'My son passed away, last year.' He choked up and couldn't finish his sentence. The entire photo set was silent. I said, 'Absolutely.' Without anyone saying anything, he handed me the frame and I placed it on my knee. In the photo, I could see on the little boy's armband that his first name was Hayden. I didn't ask any questions, but I am guessing that this is his first photo with Santa. The camera snap was the only sound I could hear through the entire mall."
Sigmon continued, "After a handful of clicks, we walked over to the screen and he pointed, saying, 'That's the one.' The girl working the computer printed him a full photo package and he pulled out his wallet, saying that this was going to be his gift to his wife. We gave him the printed package, telling him that it was a gift and that we would be praying for his family, this Christmas."
According to a memorial Facebook page, Hayden Daniel died just before Christmas last year from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare heart defect, at 6 months old. He never got to sit on Santa's lap, until now.
This kind-hearted Santa ended his post by writing, "I'm sharing this to remind us all that Christmastime is unbelievably hard for some families. Pray for the brokenhearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another."
What an amazing story and a timely reminder of what Christmas is really all about: loving each other.
In fact, that is just what Daniel's father hopes people will take away from this. He wrote, "All we want is for you all to do something nice like Caleb did for us. Just be there for a random stranger this holiday. You don't have to do anything big, sometimes all it takes is a smile and a hello. So this Christmas as you're with your family remember those who have lost loved ones, remember those who are not able to be with their families, remember those who have no family. [sic]"
Not a dry eye here. How about you?