Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital makes Christmas extra merry for its littlest patients

As families stack presents under the tree ahead of Christmas, healthcare workers wanted to make sure their youngest patients get in the holiday spirit.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital took a different approach to their usual holiday events because of the pandemic. Staff went all-in with elf on the shelf, winter décor, and an opportunity for parents of sick children to shop for a free gift at the All Kids Wonderland, with safety precautions this time around.

Child life education specialist Katie Grabowski shared why the event means so much.

 Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

"They don’t necessarily have to run to the store or worry about buying gifts in between doctor visits when their child is in the hospital," she said.

In years past, local sports teams would also come to visit. This year it’s all virtual, even visits with Santa.

"He is broadcasting live to our kids from the North Pole, and we’re taking around an iPad to make sure that every kiddo that wants that opportunity to speak with him can kind of share their Christmas list or what’s been going well in their life," said Grabowski.

And a screen did not hold them back.

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

"The kids were just overjoyed and screaming all most when they saw Santa," said Grabowski. "We had some teenagers who were just living up the experience."

The holiday efforts brought the spirit to children and families who need it this season.

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

"We want to make sure that kids know that there still is joy and there’s magic," Grabowski said.

The holiday mood continues on Christmas Day, with some nurses planning to dress up in holiday outfits. Also, workers are handing out gifts from the hospital to the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.