In case you’ve forgotten what it’s like to see a leader spreading a positive and empathetic message, make sure to peep this video of former President Barack Obama delivering gifts to surprised patients at Washington’s Children’s National Hospital last Wednesday.
Footage shared by the hospital follows Obama—who wears a Santa hat and carries a bag of presents—as he spreads holiday cheer. The former president told the kids that his reindeer were “stuck in the snow,” but that he wanted to make sure he visited them.
We see Obama doling out gifts, dances, and hugs, as patients and their families sing carols and take his picture.
Thank you @BarackObama for making our patients’ day so much brighter. Your surprise warmed our hallways and put smiles on everyone’s faces! Our patients loved your company…and your gifts! https://t.co/bswxSrA4sQ ❤️ #HolidaysAtChildrens #ObamaAndKids pic.twitter.com/qii53UbSRS
— Children's National 🏥 (@childrenshealth) December 19, 2018
He also recorded a message for those he didn’t have time to visit:
“I had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families and at a time that’s obviously tough for a lot of folks. And as the dad of two girls I can only imagine in that situation to have nurses, staff, doctors, and people who are caring for them and looking after them and listening to them, and just there for them and holding their hand. That’s the most important thing there is. What a great reminder of what the holiday spirit’s supposed to be all about,” said the former president.
View this post on Instagram
Who said the Grinch stole Christmas?! 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! 🎄#SWIPELEFT to see more! #Holidaysatchildrens #ObamaAndKids #ObamaClaus
The hospital tweeted that Obama “warmed our hallways and put smiles on everyone’s faces!” He tweeted this message in reply:
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to the extraordinary kids, families, and staff at Children’s National. And thanks for humoring me as your stand-in Santa. https://t.co/mFmYCVk7cr
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 19, 2018
According to The Washington Post, Obama dropped into individual patient’s rooms, telling one 12-year-old patient nervous about heading to high school next year that “Even the cool kids don’t have it all figured out.”
Obama also handed out jigsaw puzzles (which, according to WaPo, he told the crowd were his grandmother’s favorite), Hot Wheels sets, remote-control cars, and glittery nail polish, among other fun toys.
Needless to say, Twitter was in tears:
He threw the bag over his shoulder and I completely lost it. https://t.co/1ZpUQefhN7
— April (@ReignOfApril) December 19, 2018
Watch and weep. https://t.co/JsvBXnl2N9
— Kim Masters (@kimmasters) December 20, 2018
I'm 6'7 350 pounds and i'm sorry I got tears in my eyes. Thanks Mr. President. Miss this. Blessings.
— Haneef Shakur (@HaneefShakur) December 19, 2018
Oh my heart. https://t.co/JJK2YS45eP
— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) December 19, 2018
While others drew comparisons…
Here's what another president looks like in a red hat… https://t.co/GvEmVJJfNC
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) December 20, 2018
Feeling bad about your country and its leader? Watch this. A reminder that we can do better. https://t.co/qf6Kko6ybI
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 19, 2018
We had him. We took decency and honesty and humanity for granted. Never again. Let’s get back to this. https://t.co/mNsDpU0LLb
— Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) December 19, 2018
A man who made kids this happy was once President of the United States. https://t.co/2WJ10sYDqS
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) December 20, 2018
This is what a president is supposed to be like. https://t.co/VUSMRdsBdo
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸 (@aravosis) December 20, 2018
We had him for eight years. We were so lucky. https://t.co/yTXzdlGuh9
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) December 19, 2018
You really never know what you got until it’s gone, eh? This is what decency looks like, in case you forgot.
h/t Washington Post