For many kids, part of the magic of the holidays is being able to hop on top of Santa's lap and tell him what they hope to get for Christmas. However, some children do not get to experience this sort of thing — like a little girl in Loveland named Lily, who relies on machines to breathe and suffers from chronic illness, keeping her homebound most of the time. It was Lily who inspired the idea of the Secret Sleigh Project, which brings Santa to the homes of children with acute medical illness, chronic illness and kids who cannot leave home altogether. Lily's mom, Sarah, came up with the idea in 2015, after processing her daughter's recent diagnosis, and realizing that it would be extremely difficult for her to be out in the December cold, on top of having to take multiple machines, in order to visit Santa Claus. Instead, Sarah took to social media, and within two hours, had found not just a Santa, but Mrs. Claus and a few elves too, that were willing to make house calls.

Within two weeks, Santa and his crew had voluntarily visited 16 kids in Northern Colorado, spreading Christmas cheer to those who really needed it. In 2016, the Secret Sleigh Project continued to grow, taking off in several more states, with five Santa's, visiting over 55 homebound children with special needs. By sharing her story and making efforts to continue and grow the Secret Sleigh Project, Sarah hopes that others will do the same around the world.

If you have a child with medical needs, or chronic illness that makes traveling difficult, you can keep all the machines, medicines, and layers of coats and blankets inside, and schedule a Santa visit at your house. To do so, email secretsleigh@gmail.com and include:

  • Your child(ren)'s diagnosis
  • What you love most about your child(ren)
  • Names for all members of the family, and ages for all of your children
  • Your email, phone number and physical address
  • Advice for Santa on what he can do to make the visit as successful as possible for your child

The cut-off date for family "applications" is November 30. 

Also, exclusively for Northern Colorado believers, Mrs. Claus currently has some time to share with you and your children in your home baking Christmas cookies, telling stories and decorating too! Mrs. Claus will visit for one and a half hours, with up to five children, for a gift of $150. Cookie dough and decorating supplies included. Schedule your private in-home Mrs. Claus cookie visit (with proceeds benefiting The Secret Sleigh Project) by contacting the elves at secretsleigh@gmail.com.