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Barack Obama visits children’s hospital before Christmas, gives gifts

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Former president Barack Obama made a surprise visit at Children’s National hospital in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday and handed out gifts to kids.

The hospital posted a video of his visit to Twitter. At one point, children and staffers greeted the former president with shrieks and a rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

“We had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families, at a time that obviously is tough for folks,” Obama said. “As the dad of two girls, I can only imagine that situation — to have nurses, doctors, and people who are caring for, and looking after them, and listening to them.”

Read more:50 romantic photos show why everyone misses Barack and Michelle Obama

The former president, wearing a red fluffy cap with a bag of toys slung over his shoulder, handed out toys that he and his staffers collected. They included Hot Wheels sets, glittery nail polish, and remote-control cars, according to the Washington Post.

“They will be talking about it for years to come,” Kurt Newman, the president and chief executive of the Children’s National Health System, told the Post. “At such a busy time of year, when no one wants to be in the hospital, his natural warmth lifted the spirits of those kids, their parents, and of each staff member he met along the way.”

During his visit, Obama thanked hospital employees for the work they do for kids.

“[Being] there for them, and holding their hand — that’s the most important thing there is,” he said. “What a great reminder of what a holiday spirit is supposed to be about.”

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