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Christmas miracle – real story!

This is a real Christmas miracle story, happened in December 1997 in Wisconsin, USA.

A little girl named Sarah had leukemia and was not expected to live to see Christmas. Her brother and grandmother went to the mall to ask Mark Lenonard who was a professional Santa Claus to visit the hospital to give Sarah the gift of hope through encouragement and paryer.

A year later Sarah surprised Santa by showing up at the mall where he worked. Here goes the story.

A little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at The Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on santa’s lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

“Who is this?” – asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?”

“Yes, Santa.” – he replied.

“My sister, Sarah, who is very sick.” – he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” – the child exclaimed.
“She misses you.” – he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” – Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but ..” – the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“The girl in the photograph… my granddaughter well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays.” – she said through tear-filled eyes.

“Is there anyway, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.

“What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying?” – he thought with a sinking heart, “This is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked Rick, the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” – Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.

“Common….I’ll take you there.” – Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead.

And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Santa!” – shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement.

Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears.

Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “Thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.

Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.

Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels, “Oh, yes, Santa… I do!” – she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you.” – he said.

Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease.

He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, “Silent Night, Holy Night…. all is calm, all is bright…”

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.

When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.

“Now, Sarah,” – he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he ‘had’ to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” – Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright. He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah.” – he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.”

They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do.” – Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a ‘good’ Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the ‘only’ child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”

Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.

“Sarah!” – he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.

He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed –and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”

By Susan Morton Leonard, Santa’s wife
Santa’s name: Mark Leonard or Santa Mark

{ 59 comments… add one }
  • Devrish maneisu August 29, 2023, 5:18 am

    This story was so grateful and important to me

  • Feardorcha o lionnachain December 21, 2021, 11:00 pm

    Always look n read Christmas miracles – have read this one over and over — always moves me to moist eyes – thanks for posting -OH YES BLESS U SARAH WHERE EVER U R – merry CHRISTMAS 2 u all

  • Joyce cook November 30, 2021, 3:07 am

    I love this story I think it is so good also the drama group that I am involved in are doing a performance at the centre that I go to

  • Sarah Cate November 6, 2021, 11:01 am

    This story is just wonderful

  • Thomas Metz December 5, 2020, 7:21 am

    A truly moving, inspirational story. Will be sharing this with our 7 children and 14 grandchildren this Christmas eve. God really is so faithful!

  • Seth Santos November 2, 2020, 11:37 pm

    Heartbreaking…God is really with us all the way

  • AMBROSE O'DONNELL December 26, 2019, 11:26 am

    Breathtaking story of a life transformed with hope and prayer.
    I am now hopeful even though am in search for a Christmas miracle of my own; to pay a debt to a friend before the year ends.
    God hear my prayer.

  • Warren Savill November 18, 2019, 12:44 am


  • John Drew July 16, 2017, 5:32 pm

    I did cry, shared it with my friends, they too were touched.

  • Nisha February 11, 2017, 8:06 am

    Glory to Jesus.

    • angut juliet September 5, 2019, 9:11 am

      amen and Amen

  • Lei January 2, 2017, 3:01 am

    Im touched to this story and I almost cried at the same as being happy.

  • Anya December 29, 2016, 4:55 am

    When you pray to Allah/God with a true heart wishes come true . May Allah bless you. Amen

  • Anya December 29, 2016, 4:52 am

    Amen God bless you Sarah.

  • Litingpi sangtam December 12, 2016, 12:31 am

    Tears rolled down…in every words.very touching n heartbreaking.Thank you for making me feel the power of christmas gift.Merry- Xmas.

  • PARAS October 12, 2015, 11:50 am

    Wow. Thats one of the most beautiful story ive ever read. Thank you so much for sharing susan. You are lucky to have a miracle santa as ur husband.

  • Edgel Orola Escomen July 4, 2015, 6:47 am

    Maam Susan God bless you and your family and to Santa Mark.

  • Temsu Lemtur December 19, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Praise God and thank you for sharing the matchless love of God.

  • Andrew 8106 slone November 8, 2014, 8:01 pm

    I believe in miracles and I believe in Jesus for he was planned from the foundation of the world. Jesus is Lord!!

  • Mary lutche September 30, 2014, 12:08 am

    Ooowwww ….. It`s so nnnniiiiccceee :-*

  • Ruth jen eucogco July 26, 2014, 5:40 am

    It made me cry. It is truly a miracle from God.

  • Prima January 19, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Aw, this story is so lovely!! It was touching and put tears in my eyes.

  • Caty January 12, 2014, 1:50 pm

    I was sooo touched by this story can’t belive it was true!

  • Stephen December 4, 2013, 6:50 pm

    Hi Susan!!! Wow. Unbelievable. It’s a privilege to have you, the author, stopping by and thank you so much for sharing the link to your original post.

    Have a very blessed Christmas to you and all!

  • Susan Leonard December 4, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Hi, I’m Susan Leonard, author of this “Christmas Miracle” story, as told to me by my husband, Santa Mark. Thank you for sharing our TRUE story and for all the nice comments. Have a very blessed Christmas!

    The story can be found in original form on my own blog:

  • Amruta December 1, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Awesome. There are really no words to say. Touching…

  • Mark October 7, 2013, 6:42 am

    Wow, I’m crying. One of the best stories I’ve read.. Thank you for sharing this story..

  • Abay September 24, 2013, 10:47 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes.

  • Swathi N Sakhare September 24, 2013, 3:39 am

    It’s really a very big miracle…. I really enjoyed story….

  • Pipkong August 30, 2013, 3:23 am

    I finish reading this story amidst tears! I couldn’t help but cry very hard. One thing this story taught me is hope and the mercies of God to his very own and the world at large. This is a message of hope! A gift of healing and the promise of his unfailing love, am glad to say no matter what I will be hopeful in christ! Praise God. Am glad I read this, am blessed.

  • Tony August 22, 2013, 12:29 am

    This miracle really make my eyes full of tears… prayer will always answer. Where there’s prayer there is hope, where there’s hope miracle does happen. God bless.

  • Johnny Dias August 6, 2013, 9:07 am

    Heart touching…. Prayer from heart changes the circumstances.

  • Polycarp July 21, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Wow! God works miracles He does to whom He has chosen.

  • Angel May 17, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Very touching and inspiring story.. I love it 🙂

  • Bryan May 7, 2013, 9:36 am

    I’m such a crybaby. . .

  • Soniya Xaxa April 14, 2013, 12:56 am

    Miracles do happen with powerful prayer. Awesome.

  • Julie April 8, 2013, 2:48 pm

    That is an amazing and touching story! It literally made me cry!

  • Lino March 23, 2013, 1:39 am

    Thank you santa Mark you changed the whole scenario in that hospital room. Hope is the gift of God.

  • Vera Harley March 2, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Praise God this is such a heart warming story !!

  • Nene January 21, 2013, 7:45 pm

    Amen, Amen, Amen. Thank you Santa. God bless you too.

  • Aye Chan Aung January 19, 2013, 7:20 am

    The best Christmas story I have ever read:) Thank you with all my heart for sharing the wonderful true story:)

  • Vaidehi December 30, 2012, 6:38 am

    Wish there were more santas in the world spreading hope to many. Thank you santa. Yes miracles do happen. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Amutha December 27, 2012, 11:24 am

    Yes, miracles happen when we pray with hope ….. Thanks a lot for sharing this story….May the Lord bless us with all good things of life !

  • LIBU G ALEX December 26, 2012, 4:19 am

    Merry Christmas and happy new year to all toooo

  • LIBU G ALEX December 26, 2012, 3:59 am

    Really touching story/ incident……
    And one more thing …. Susan asthe name given here.. you have a good sense of writing.. you may god bless you make your talent better

  • Frank k December 26, 2012, 12:01 am

    I wish this wonderful story can be shared with the people who don’t have internet access in remote countries.

  • Tarannum December 25, 2012, 1:40 am

    Yes, Hope is everything…….

    Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year…….

    God bless us with Joy and your Love… Amen.

  • Mosopefoluwa December 23, 2012, 7:02 am

    A blissful hope of Christ! A wonder to behold.

  • Swarup December 22, 2012, 9:52 am

    He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

    Wonderful story which shows hope can sustain through hardships. Hope is really the GOD. Leave all your worries to him.
    Very tender story touches your heart.

  • Pastor Anil December 21, 2012, 10:09 am

    I am really touched and blessed by this story….

    This is why Jesus came to this world. Where there is no hope, there is Christ, who is the creator of all and paid our dept of sin by dying on the Cross.

  • Nidhi December 21, 2012, 3:23 am

    Awwwww!! :’)

  • Vanessa December 21, 2012, 1:34 am

    Beautiful this is the goodness of our Lord.

    I so had tears in my eyes.


  • Archel December 20, 2012, 10:43 pm

    I was really touched by this story…

    I’m glad I’ve read this, for it gives me hope and courage..

    Thanks for sharing..

    A Blessed Christmas to everyone….

  • ♥Charm♥ December 20, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Miracles do happen with powerful prayer. Awesome.

  • Lalita December 20, 2012, 6:28 pm

    Too emotional but wonderful, Merry Christmas to all of you!
    I can feel the power of prayer in healing…

  • Vikram Jain December 20, 2012, 11:39 am

    Very nice story, full of hope, confidence and faith.

  • Narmi December 20, 2012, 8:02 am

    Hope never fails…. Prayers never fail…

    He is ONE for us..ALMIGHTY.

    Very nice story… Right story at the right season. Thank u….:)

  • Joan Wovenu December 20, 2012, 7:35 am

    This is a REAL MIRACLE indeed and very touching. I still believe MIRACLES do happen. Hope this Christmas we will all get our MIRACLES. Amen!

  • Biswa December 20, 2012, 7:29 am


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