Angel was eight years old and what she wanted for Christmas for her mother to get a new shirt, her dad to get some jeans and a shirt for work, a vacuum, a set of knife and forks and some dishes. Angel asked for nothing for herself. Tammy and Tracey (child life specialists at Kaiser hospital) tried but she only wanted them to have the things they needed, nothing frivolous, and nothing extravagant. So, over the next couple of weeks Tammy and Tracy just conversed with her about some of the things that her and her siblings would want for themselves from Santa. Eventually we found out the three kids (Angel and her two siblings) had no toys and only a couple of games that had missing pieces.

We decided all three kids would be getting bikes with helmets and lock, plenty of board games and toys that they specifically asked for on a list they wrote out to Santa. I had trouble speaking to the parents because they only spoke in broken English but I had an ace in the hole, Santa always has helpers that speak multiple languages and Santa himself has been known to know a few languages.

The day came when Santa was to visit the family in their home. Santa, Mrs. Claus, a deputy, myself and a couple of elves entered the residence. We found a very small house with no Christmas decorations, very few utensils and not much in the way of furniture. The biggest surprise for the family and especially the parents was that Santa spoke their language perfectly and seeing the surprise and happiness of that family when Santa spoke to all of them in their native tongue was beyond description. The first thing we did was bring in a Christmas tree and decorations for the family and explained to them that they had to put the tree up and all the decorations on it before Santa could deliver the gifts on Christmas morning. Santa started handing out gifts for the kids and telling them stories of Rudolf and his buddies. While Santa, Mrs. Claus and one elf were busy with the kids another elf (a bilingual Deputy) and I spoke to the parents and explained in their language that even though the kids are opening a couple of gifts today we had stuff directly from the north pole that was to be placed in hiding until Christmas morning. We gave them the bikes and helmets for each of the kids as well as several other gifts, we told the parents even they could not peek into the boxes of gifts until Christmas morning when they would help Santa by putting everything out under and around the Christmas tree for him. We also left Christmas stockings for each of the family members.  The parents and the kids continued to repeat a phrase repeatedly and when I asked Santa what they were saying he simply replied, “they could not believe Santa spoke Spanish”.

According to Tammy and Tracy the family was overwhelmed with the generosity they showed and could not stop talking about how Santa spoke Spanish.