Despite Christmas still being over a month away, for the 7-year-old Pastor of Woodland, California Christmas came early.
On November 8, 2021, Pastor had a holiday lunch of hamburger and cookies at the North Pole with Santa Claus.
Pastor had his wish fulfilled in partnership with Make-A-Wish as they kick off their 14th annual “Believe” letter-writing campaign which provides individuals with opportunities to have their wishes fulfilled.
Pastor’s aunt Teresa said, “We felt overwhelmed [with] joy. Our hearts melted. “We were looking forward to this day… he would always talk about it. We just felt happy for him that he finally got to see [Santa].”
Pastor’s day began with an opportunity to meet Santa at Macy’s in Downtown Sacramento followed by VIP transportation in Tesla to Golden 1 Center, where “a portion of the arena was transformed into a festive holiday atmosphere created specifically for Pastor,” the nonprofit said.
That atmosphere included eating cheeseburgers, feeding a live reindeer, decorating a gingerbread house, having a snowball fight and opening presents.
Speaking to Make-A-Wish, Teresa said her nephew had “really wanted to meet [Santa] so badly” and the day served as a nice escape for him after going through his cancer treatment.
“My favorite part was when we all walked in together to meet Santa and Santa was waiting for us,” she explained. “[Pastor] was lighting up in the eyes. He will not forget that… he is so happy, he forgot everything that happened in the hospital.”
“He knew he was sick but he didn’t understand how bad,” she added. “This was very special to him… he’s a kid again and he’s able to do all of the things he could do before.”
Santa remarked that Pastor was “so very special” to him.
“What a wonderful day we’ve had today… this has been a beautiful day because we made so many special memories with Pastor,” he said. “Pastor is a wonderful young boy. He was so excited to meet me at Macy’s. And then we drove in a Tesla… he had so much fun yelling, ‘Open sesame!’ every time the doors opened.”
The event was made possible by Macy’s who since 2003 has donated more than $137 million to Make-A-Wish.