Caleb Sigmon is an actor who has taken up a role as Santa Claus at a shopping centre this holiday season, and he shared a moment he experienced with a grieving dad while in that big chair where magic so often takes place.
“A man walked in today holding something in his arms. ‘I have a request,’ he said, turning around this picture frame,” Caleb wrote on Facebook alongside a photograph of him dressed as Santa with a framed photograph of a baby in the shot.
“He took a moment. ‘My son passed away, last year.’ He choked up and couldn't finish his sentence… I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
Caleb then realised the over-whelming significance of this moment.
“Without anyone saying anything, he handed me the frame and I placed it on my knee. In the photo, I could see on the little boy's armband that his first name was Hayden. I didn't ask any questions, but I am guessing that this is his first photo with Santa,” he explained.
But it wasn’t just the man in the big red suit that was moved by the experience, the actor explained that everyone around them paused.
“The camera snap was the only sound I could hear through the entire mall. Normally, I hear all kinds of music and sounds, but it was absolutely silent,” he added.
And because Christmas is a about so much more than the presents, the team gave the dad the entire picture package, which he plans to give to his wife on Christmas day, for free.
"We gave him the printed package, telling him that it was a gift and that we would be praying for his family, this Christmas. He grabbed my hand and pulled me in and hugged me, then turned around and left.”
That grieving dad, who never got to spend a Christmas with his son Hayden, is named Kyle Daniel and he spoke to Today Parents about the experience in the shopping centre.
“On December 19, 2014, Hayden passed away in my arms,” he explained, “His lungs had become weak and just stopped working. He was just a few days away from being 6 months old.”
Caleb touchingly ended his viral post, “I'm sharing this to remind us all that Christmas time is unbelievably hard for some families. Pray for the broken-hearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another.”