Barack Obama dresses as Santa to surprise kids at a children's hospital
Hey everyone, Christmas is almost here, so let's all join in with a classic song:
He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice, Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, is coming to tooooown.
Ok, so that's not *quite* how the original goes, but that's what people should have been singing when Obama turned up at the Children’s National hospital in Northwest Washington on Wednesday of this week.
Wearing in a fur-lined red hat and carrying a sack full of gifts, the former president surprised young patients at the hospital yesterday in order to bring them a little extra cheer during the holiday season. He delivered all sorts of presents from jigsaw puzzles (his grandmother's favourite, he said) to remote-control cars to nail polish, and made sure to pose for pictures with all the happy recipients.
He also apparently offered some sage advice to one 12-year-old patient who was anxious about starting high school soon. "Even the cool kids don’t have it all figured out," he said.
"I know they will be talking about it for years to come," said Kurt Newman, the chief executive and president of Children’s National Health System. "At such a busy time of year, 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."
The Children's National hospital shared some touching images of Obama with the kids. "Who said the Grinch stole Christmas?!" they captioned the pictures. "Our patients and their families received a HUGE holiday surprise when @barackobama warmed our hallways with a huge bag of gifts for our patients! Thank you so much for visiting!"
The pictures soon spread on social media, with many people getting quite emotional at seeing such a kind gesture from the former president.
"I'm 6'7 350 pounds and i'm sorry I got tears in my eyes," said one man. "Thanks Mr. President. Miss this. Blessings."
"I love that even though President Obama has been out of office for almost two years, even the kids who are probably too young to remember when he was president are thrilled to see him," added another commenter.
Before leaving the hospital, Obama had a few kind words to say to a crowd that had gathered round to see him:
"I just want to say, thank you to all of you guys. I've had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families, at a time that is obviously tough for these folks. As a dad of two girls, I can only imagine that, 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 - that's the most important thing there is."
Now that's what being president is all about. Thanks, Obama.