Brett Davis eagerly waited by the hospital room door for Santa. The 7-year-old heard the jingling bells and a jolly "Ho, ho, ho" and peeked his head out into the hallway from the room he was in on Christmas Eve with his 2-week-old sister, Abigail.
Brett darted back to the couch of the Piedmont Medical Center room as Santa and Mrs. Claus joyfully entered the room.
With red cheeks, Brett sat silently as Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas.
"That's right. I already know. The sleigh's packed and ready to go," Santa said. Mrs. Claus handed Brett a candy cane and complimented his new sister.
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Santa, Klaus Schmolke, and his wife, Janie, delivered toys and candy canes to some of the children at the Rock Hill hospital this Christmas. This is the couple's 20th year visiting schools, hospitals and other area locations spreading the holiday joy. For various reasons, more than a handful of area children will be in the Rock Hill hospital for Christmas this year.
Mrs. Claus said they get a lot of joy out of seeing the children's faces when they see Santa.
"It's a thrill," she said. "When you've done it as long as we have, you start to believe you are actually Santa and his wife."
Other children delighted in seeing Santa and receiving Webkinz polar bears provided by the hospital. Isabella Martinez, 5, hopped out of bed to whisper in Santa's ear what she wanted for the holiday.
She grasped the new stuffed animal and placed it on her hospital bed with her other toys.
As Santa walked through the hallway, a boy who passed him said, "Are you coming to my house tonight, Santa?
When Santa said goodbye, he told the boy he'd see him later that night.