Snowstorm or no snowstorm, Santa Bob and Bogart, aka Dasher, have a stop to make before riding the wave of snow north to Cleveland. We decided to get an earlier visit to the Carilion Hospital than we had originally planned. An early morning phone call from the hospital confirmed this would be the best plan.
We arrived at the hospital and did a quick transformation in the bus, which rivaled any change Superman ever did in a phone booth. The children were in the play area waiting for Santa and Dasher to arrive as The Kindness Sleigh arrived with a clatter. The children ran to the fence to see what was the matter. There in the parking lot was a jolly old soul with a cutest looking dog reindeer in tow.
The twenty or so preschool age children who came to meet us were spellbound at the sight of Santa Bob and Dasher, exiting The Kindness Sleigh. I have to admit, playing Santa is as rewarding as it gets. The commentary from children of this age is priceless. One child says, “Santa”…”Santa” … (tug on sleeve) “Santa does your bus fly”? Still another says, “Where are your reindeer Santa”? This is pure magic. We visited for fifteen minutes or so and then posed for some photos and the children sent us off by singing a great Christmas song.
A knock on the window from the adults inside made it clear that Santa could not possibly leave without visiting all of the hospital staff. Two of Santa’s helpers, Marcia and Abby, were dispatched to escort Santa Bob and Dasher inside. We visited all of the hospital staff and not a single person subscribed to being naughty over nice. Santa was pleased to hear this. We made one last visit to Chaplain, Jonathan Webster before leaving and Santa’s helpers packed a goody bag of cookies for the long ride north. May the entire Carilion community have a joyous Christmas.