Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 21 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Anselm of Canterbury
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

The Santa who knew how to bring joy to a child with special needs


Misty Wolf | Facebook | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 12/26/18

A 6-year-old's Christmas wish was answered.

Six-year-old Matthew Foster loves everything about Santa Claus. He even memorized the entirety of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” So when his mother, Misty Wolf, took him for his first visit to Santa, he was more than excited.

His mother whispered to Santa, “He is blind and autistic and is very interested in Santa.” And Santa replied, “Say no more.”

The man playing Santa gave Matthew as much time as he needed, allowing him to touch his face and to pet the reindeer in the display area. Wolf dubbed him the “Best Santa Ever!” for the grace with which he interacted with her son.

In an article on Love What Matters, Wolf explained, “Matthew spent 111 days in the NICU. There he developed stage 5 ROP due to the amount of oxygen he was given to survive. His brain scans told the doctors that Matthew would never walk or talk. But God had other plans.”

By taking time to be fully present to Matthew and to connect with him in a very personal way, this Santa has shown what it means to treat each other with the dignity and respect owed to every human being no matter their age, size, or ability.

Cover of the book The Christmas Cradle and the portrait of the author Meadow Rue Merrill

Read more:
Author encourages “Christmas Cradle” tradition of giving in new children’s book

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.