BIRMINGHAM - AL — This Christmas holiday is a difficult one for 250 patients at Children's of Alabama. The hospital says they try to release as many as possible to be home for Christmas Day, but many are simply too ill. This morning, those children got a big surprise.A parade of Christmas cheer rolled and jingled down the hallways of Children's of Alabama armed with surprises straight out of Santa's sleigh. "It kind of breaks my heart to see them have to stay here for Christmas," Christiaan Holliday, an elf said.From room to room, Santa and his elves handed out teddy bears, gave lots of hugs, and posed for pictures."When you walk in the room you see the child light up and smile and the families smile - it's really humbling to see," Santa Claus said.Doctors rushed Oliver Garea into surgery just last night, but a visit from ole Saint Nick quickly put a smile on his face."Oliver had some issues with cerebral spinal fluid on the brain so they air flighted him last night," John Garea, Oliver's Dad said.And just down the hall, Adam didn't expect to have to spend Christmas in the hospital, but this year, Santa came to him.He came in from Boaz with a stomach ache and they diagnosed it as appendicitis and we had the appendix removed last night," Darrell Smith, Adam's Dad said.Santa told us, even though he's busy on Christmas Eve, he carves out special time for children who can't be in front of their own tree this year."We start here then we set all the houses around this because we want to make sure these kids have a special Christmas so we start here then try to fit in everybody else," Santa said."It makes Christmas really feel like Christmas," Holliday said.
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