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.

Weird Gifts

Santa has received some weird requests for gifts on some of the lists and each time reluctantly Santa delivers them and to his surprise it is exactly what they wanted. That sounds weird right! Well let me explain, when I see a new vacuum for a 5-year-old or a gift card for Nordstrom’s for an 8-year-old boy or a craftsman tool set for 4-year-old twins then I Santa knows to ask a few additional questions and usually find out that someone a little older added that to the children’s list.

But kids request the “darndest things”. Last year the Santa Project visited one of the families from Kaiser and the 7-year-old girl (we will call her Shay) asked for the normal things, a bike, barbie doll house with Barbies etc. but she also wanted a microscope, wait a microscope, she’s only 7. Her 6-year-old brother (we will call him Dave) of course wanted a horse, super heroes, lots of Legos and a telescope, no, really a telescope! Now Santa was skeptical, so Santa picked up his phone and called the parents and the mom adamantly stated that is what they wanted, a telescope and a microscope. Normally I would leave them for under the tree, but curiosity got the better of me. During the Santa visit we let each member of the family open two or three gifts each. The rest of the gifts along with the Christmas stockings and the large Santa gift are left with the parents or relatives to be put out on Christmas Eve/morning.  On this delivery Santa decided the kids would open the telescope and the Microscope at the same time during the visit.

Santa arrives, and the kids are out of their minds excited to the point that I am laughing just watching them both telling Santa what they want at the same time, you see on home deliveries I get to be a big Elf for Santa, so I get to sit back and watch the magic happen. Dave opens an action hero and a Lego set and looks happy, but his enthusiasm seems to have dissipated as did Shay’s when she opened her barbie and a tea set. Don’t get me wrong they liked the first gifts but there was a little bit of exuberance missing that was there when we arrived. Mom and dad opened their gifts and were very thankful that we even thought about them. The kids were happy, and grandma and dad and mom were happy also. Just before we were going to take pictures Santa realized he had two gifts left in his bag and pulled them out. Both kids knew exactly what the gifts were and before they even opened them Shay looked at her mom and said “I knew Santa was real and he knows what we want”. With that they opened the telescope and the microscope and Shay explained that when she got older, she wanted to go to school and become a scientist, and Dave, well he just smiled the biggest smile I personally have ever seen.  Hugs and photos and off we went on our merry way.


Last minute shopping for Santa. Conor’s family, bunkbeds check, dresser check, gardening book for dad and glitter otter box phone cover for mom, no problem!

Unicorn Girl

Last minute shopping for Santa. Conor’s family, bunkbeds check, dresser check, gardening book for dad and glitter otter box phone cover for mom, no problem!


Last minute shopping for Santa. Conor’s family, bunkbeds check, dresser check, gardening book for dad and glitter otter box phone cover for mom, no problem!