St. Luke’s NICU brings Santa in for early Christmas visit, celebrating babies’ first holiday

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No matter what’s under the tree this year, the sweet babies at the NICU at Saint Luke’s Hospital are the real gifts for their parents this Christmas.

But living in the neonatal intensive care unit isn’t easy, especially around the holidays. So St. Luke’s decided to help the families celebrate their baby’s first Christmas in a special way.

The KC hospital teamed up with March of Dimes to dress its NICU babies as little gifts, complete with giant bows, on Tuesday. Volunteers handmade each outfit.

Then Santa Claus came for a visit, and all those tiny babies got their photo taken with the jolly old elf — a special keepsake for their parents. See some of the adorable photos in the gallery above. The families also got a little footprint ornament.

“That first year for them is so special,” said Rebecca Keunen with March of Dimes. “We’re lucky to have a great group of volunteers that come in and make it possible.”

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