It seems that everywhere you go these days, there is that man in the bright red suit boasting out his, “Ho, Ho, Ho.” However, there is one certain Santa Claus who is getting around the social media circuit as granting one grieving father a very emotional request as he sat in his special chair in a mall in Statham, Georgia
Caleb Ryan Sigmon, 22, has been putting on the red suit for many years. He joked that his grandmother used to have him wear one when he was 3-years-old, and he has loved it ever since then. He is used to having kids sit on his lap, requesting many different things. However, one request coming from a grieving father who lost his baby boy last year has sparked the heart of Christmas.
The story is told by Santa himself on his Facebook page on how much a man by the name of Kyle Daniel has touched him this holiday season. The father stood in line waiting his turn with a photo in his hand. Once he got up to the front, he could barely get his request out. It really didn’t matter because once Sigmon saw the photo of his baby son and how emotional his daddy was, he already knew what the request was.
Kyle Daniel told his story to Today on what transpired between them that day.
“I walked up to Santa and said, ‘I have a request, my son passed away last year.’ I started to get choked up. He reached out for Hayden’s picture and said, ‘Absolutely.’ I had a wave of relief come over me. It was hard to walk in and ask that. In just one word, he made a situation easy.”
Hayden was born last year with a congenital heart defect. His parents, Kyle and Sasha Daniel, were devastated when he died from his condition just a few days before Christmas. This photo with Santa Claus was supposed to be a very special gift for his wife, since Hayden never got a chance to have his first picture taken with the guy in the red suit. Caleb Sigmon seemed to know that as he explained in his own words.
“I didn’t ask any questions, but I am guessing that this is his first photo with Santa. 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 went on to say that Kyle Daniel then picked out the package that he wanted to give to his wife and took out his wallet to pay for it. They told the grieving father that the photos were their gift to him, along with their prayers. No words were spoken, but there were many tears and plenty of gratefulness to go around. Santa got a big hug from the dad and he then left with the special photos in hand.
Sigmon told CBS News that he and his wife, who helped design his Santa costume, went to the back room during a break to cry together and also to pray for the Daniel family. “Mr. and Mrs. Claus” have hearts full of compassion and love for others. Caleb hopes that this Christmas tale will help other people do the same. He shared this story for a reason. He sent out a special message to everyone this Christmas season.
“I’m sharing this to remind us all that Christmastime is unbelievably hard for some families. Pray for the brokenhearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another.”
Playing Santa is not the only job that Caleb Sigmon has, but he does say that it is the best one that he has and the most rewarding. His stories that he shares are meant to touch other people as well.
Kyle and Sasha Daniel are expecting their second child. She is 15 weeks along, but will always have Hayden in their hearts. They have set up a Facebook page honoring his memory. Hayden’s first photo with Santa Claus has now gone viral, shared over 50,000 times. It seems to be one of the most touching stories this holiday season as it shows the world how kindness and love can go a long way in giving someone who is hurting some comfort and joy.
[Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images]