Santa Claus arrives by helicopter to deliver gifts to kids in hospital

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Kids all over the world know Santa Claus is preparing for a very busy Christmas Eve.

But Kris Kringle took time out of his busy schedule for Code Kringle. He left the sleigh and reindeer behind to deliver some Christmas cheer to some local kids who need it most on Friday at Carilion Children's Hospital.

"Hiya! Hi! Hi! Welcome! Merry Christmas!" said the jolly man. Santa Claus arrived to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon in style - riding with the hospital's Life-Guard helicopter crew.

This year, he made an early call to some kids who need his cheer most of all.

"Well look who it is here! What in the world did you do?" he said to a teenage boy with a broken leg.

The day's operation is Code Kringle!

The jolly old man spent the afternoon visiting the children who are spending part of their holiday at Carilion Children's Hospital wing.

It was a very big surprise to the patients - including 6-year-old Brooke Lomax who asked him, "Is this real?"

"I was just so surprised," said the girl. "Like really so surprised!"

While visiting, the Big Man delivered exactly what they'd asked him for - well almost exactly.

"Now some of them wanted Lamborghinis and Corvettes," Santa said. "Things like that and we're gonna have to work on that a little bit."

Fortunately, Brooke made the nice list this year.

"What do you know it's my favorite movie character!" she said pulling out a Frozen doll.

"I didn't expect to get a present in the hospital. Like really so surprising."

Santa spent the day visiting more than 30 children. The surprise was possible because of the Carilion Clinic Foundation and his elves - who also happen to be registered nurses!

Santa said he was delighted to see the kids' reactions and reminded everyone to share the love this time of year.

"Simply telling your husband or your wife or your children, I love you and I value you," he said. "Those are the greatest gifts that we can give at Christmas."