Former President Obama made a surprise hospital visit at Children’s National Health System in Washington on Wednesday where he did his best Santa Claus impression.
“We had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families,” the former commander in chief told a crowd gathered in the hospital.
In a video shared by the hospital on Twitter, Obama sported a Santa hat while greeting pediatric patients and staff.
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
“At a time that is obviously tough for folks, and the dad of two girls, I can only imagine in that situation you know to have nurses, staff and doctors and people who are caring for them, and looking after them, and listening to them and just there for them and holding their hands,” Obama, dad to 20-year-old Malia, and Sasha, 17, said.
“That’s the most important thing there is,” Obama added. “What a great reminder of what the holiday spirit is supposed to be all about.”
During his nearly two-hour visit on Wednesday, Obama met with patients and participated in art projects alongside children.
He also handed out gifts to children, including Matchbox cars, puzzles, and Starburst-scented nail polish.
Obama also left a pre-recorded video for patients he wasn’t able to speak to.
The Hill notes:
Obama’s visit came less than a week after his wife made a similar unannounced trip at a children’s hospital in Colorado. While there, Michelle Obama spoke with children alongside Santa Claus at an event and read the holiday classic “The Night Before Christmas.”
Melania Trump also marked the holidays with a visit to Children’s National — a Christmastime tradition among first ladies. During her visit there last week Trump toured the neonatal intensive care unit and read a book, “Oliver the Ornament,” to children.