derek holland children's health seth patient jody
Ranger’s Pitcher Derek Holland, Seth and KLUV radio personality Jody Dean

“Ho-Ho-Ho!” Santa joyfully sang as he surprised all at the annual Christmas tree lighting event outside of the Children’s Health hospital in Dallas. And it’s not only Santa and the lit Christmas tree the kiddos were excited about!

Two celebrity co-hosts, Rangers pitcher Derek Holland and KLUV radio personality Jody Dean, spread holiday cheer to the patients, families, and staff. Other special guests included— you guessed it—Santa and Mrs. Claus, carolers, elves, stilt walkers, and the famous Funnyatrics clowns.

The night began with carolers gracefully singing popular holiday songs as attendees took their seat. Derek and Jody spoke about what the night meant for the patients that were able to attend, and noted that all who were unable to join had something special to look forward to later that evening. It was time for the big reveal—the Christmas tree lighting. A patient at the hospital, Seth, was the MVP of the night who had the honor of flipping the switch to light the Christmas tree. His smile was ear-to-ear as Santa, Derek, Jody and the crowd cheered him on.

After the tree lighting, guests were invited into the Butterfly Atrium for face painting, crafts, hot cocoa, pizza, and lots of other holiday activities. The kids also had the chance to sit on Santa’s lap for a photo and to tell him what presents they want. They even got to create a bag of reindeer food (because everyone knows the reindeer are hungry too!)

Later in the evening, Derek Holland was interviewed by Children’s Health employees in the “Seacrest Studio.” This studio is made possible by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and is an in-house multimedia broadcast center that gives patients the ability to explore the creative realms of radio, television, and new media right from their hospital rooms. It is one of many available at Children’s hospitals nationwide.

Back to the interview. Derek was asked what his reaction was when he saw the big man in red at the tree lighting, and he candidly screamed, “SANTA!!!” This was sure to give the kids a laugh.

Thank you, Children’s Health, for putting on an amazing event to kick off the holiday season and spread holiday cheer to some that need it most!

The following collection of images were taken at the Children’s Health Tree Lighting by Colbea Smith: [print_gllr id=3050]

About Children’s HealthSM

Children’s HealthSM is the seventh-largest pediatric healthcare provider in the nation and the leading pediatric health care system in North Texas, providing a full spectrum of health care services—from daily wellness and primary care to specialty visits and critical care. Holding eight disease-specific care certifications from The Joint Commission, Children’s Health has been consistently named one of the nation’s top pediatric providers by U.S. News & World Report. The Children’s Health system includes the flagship hospital Children’s Medical Center Dallas, as well as Children’s Medical Center Plano, eight specialty centers, 20 Children’s Health Pediatric Group primary care practices, nine Our Children’s House rehabilitation facilities, home health, physician services and the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern.

Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...