Santa Claus to call hospitalized children

Children receiving treatment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto will have the chance Monday to tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas this year.

For the first time in the Bay Area, a two-way video phone will be given to patients to let them call Santa Claus from their hospital rooms and share their Christmas wish lists, according to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

“For a child who can’t make it out to see Santa in person, this is magic,” said Colette Case, the hospital’s director of child and family life services.

The video phone comes with a speed dial button to connect children to an image of Santa Claus, who will then speak about life at the North Pole and listen to the children’s wish lists, according to the hospital.

Cisco Systems started the program Santa Connection in 2004 in an effort to bring the spirit of Santa Claus to children in hospitals during the holiday season, the hospital reported.

The Santa Connection video phone’s appearance at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is the phone’s only stop in the Bay Area this holiday season, according to the hospital.

Children can use the video phone bedside from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., kids can enjoy the video phone with their families and friends in a hospital playroom, according to the hospital.

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