ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Santa Claus is coming to town -- but first, he stopped to pay a visit to the most special little ones on his nice list.
On Thursday, Mr. and Mrs. Claus made time ahead of their busiest night of the year to visit babies spending their first Christmas in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital. In true Kris Kringle fashion, he didn't come empty-handed -- with help from The Mightiest Mamas, each special family received a gift basket that included a knitted hat and ornament.
The Mightiest Mamas was founded by Tara Docekal as a way to give hope and inspiration to others with difficult motherhood journeys, according to a press release from St. Mary's. She has been giving back to the hospital that gave her and her daughter life since forming the organization in 2018.
Santa's visit is the 15th event the charity has held at the hospital.
Santa visits NICU babies at St. Mary's Hospital
In total, the charity said 36 gift baskets were delivered to the NICU and 24 baskets went to patients in antepartum care and the pregnancy intensive care unit. Hospital workers weren't left out either -- gifts were left for nurses working in four different departments during Christmas.
Printed photos will be delivered to families Friday so the memories can live on for many Christmases to come.
"We are so grateful for your support," The Mightiest Mamas wrote in a Thursday Facebook post. "Care packages go a long way to making a holiday in the hospital easier for patients, and we couldn't do it without you!"
To see more photos, check out the charity's album on Facebook.