PHOENIX — With Christmas only a few weeks away – the holiday cheer is in full gear.

Unfortunately, some families are having to put off the holiday cheer for another year, especially patients who have to spend Christmas in the hospital.

On Tuesday, Santa made his annual visit to the Nursery Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, visiting with preemies who were born a little too soon. Many of the babies will have to spend their first Christmas in the hospital.

The babies dressed up for the occasion in Christmas attire and got their pictures taken with Santa. For their mothers – it was a nice surprise.

LAST YEAR: Santa visits babies in NICU at Banner Desert Medical Center

“You're not expected to deliver early. Now that we get Santa, we think it's fun,” said Candace Piccollo, whose son was supposed to be born after Christmas.

Santa got as much joy out of the visit as the families.

“They're starting off their life a little hard. So, to have me come by and visit with them as a special trip is a treat for me as much as it is for the parents,” Santa said. 

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