BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Santa Claus and his elf helper made a special visit to the newborns Tuesday in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sisters of Charity Hospital.

First-time parents Davide Birella and Vicki Peterson welcomed their bundle of joy Josie more than two weeks early. Santa paid Josie and her parents a visit Tuesday afternoon.

Vicki said Old Saint Nick’s visit made this stressful time much more enjoyable.

Santa and his elf made rounds spreading holiday cheer, handling infants with care, and taking photos with parents. It’s a tradition that’s been happening at Sisters for more than 15 years.

The NICU staff told News 4, spending time in the hospital around Christmas is tough, but Santa’s visit is something everyone looks forward to every year.

This is undoubtedly a first Christmas these parents will never forget.

New on WIVB.com

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.