NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Even though Santa couldn't make the pain of losing a mother go away for four Nacogdoches children, he did provide them some moments of happiness Wednesday.
A story East Texas News aired earlier this month touched the hearts of viewers from Badders Law Firm in Nacogdoches.
"Merry Christmas. It's good to be here," Santa said.
"It's Santa," a toddler said.
"It doesn't take the sadness away, but it's just a little bit of joy for the kids," said Crisalba Castrejon, the children's aunt.
"Brian, Merry Christmas," gift presenter said.
The oldest is 9-year-old Brian. He's assumed the responsible role.
A smile and gratitude come from his 7-year-old sister, Leslie.
"Thank You," Leslie said.
Six-year-old Anthony resembles his older brother, soaking in the activity all the while, and 4-year-old Michael has an important message for Santa.
"I've been good too," Michael said.
Claudia Castrejon now cares for her oldest daughter's children, along with three other young ones. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming at times. The household went from nine to 13. She's learning to cope.
"Day by day, but yeah, it's kinda hard for her," Crisalba said.
Badders Law Firm recognizes the hardships. The firm arranged the opportunity to hear joyful sounds.
Jose Lara hosted today's event and continues to collect donations at his business, D'Pelos Barbershop.
"Jose, thank you for doing all this," Santa said as he kissed a baby. "Santa Claus is so glad to be here."
Christmas cheer won't bring a loved one back, but it helps assure a grieving family that there are those who care and that Santa is an expert when it comes to sharing joy.
Here are the names and sizes of the children who now live with Claudia Castrejon, as well as some close cousins.
- Bryan, age 9, shoe size 3, pants/shirt size 10
- Leslie, age 7, shoe size 13, pants/shirt size 7-8
- Anthony, age 6, shoe size 13, pants/shirt size 6
- Michael, 4, shoe size 10-11, pants/shirt size 5
- Julisa, 2, shoe size 6, pants/shirt size 2
- Stepheini, 5, shoe size 10, pants/shirt size 6
- Janet, 9 shoe size 3, pants/shirt size 10