Barack Obama dons a Santa hat and hands out gifts in surprise visit to D.C. children’s hospital – The Washington Post

Columnist for The Reliable Source

Watch out, Santa: Former president Barack Obama is coming for your sleigh.

With a fluffy red cap and a bulging bag slung over his shoulder, Obama delivered presents (and more than a few gasps) to the young patients at Children’s National hospital in Northwest Washington on Wednesday.

First on Obama’s list was a group of patients 4 and up who were making snowflakes in one of the hospital’s playrooms. After the excitement died down, the former president handed out jigsaw puzzles (which were his grandmother’s favorite, he told the crowd), Hot Wheels sets, remote-control cars, and glittery nail polish, among other goodies collected by Obama and his staffers. Hey, the guy knows his audience.

“I know they will be talking about it for years to come,” said Kurt Newman, chief executive and president of Children’s National Health System. “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.”

Obama takes a selfie with a patient at a Washington-area children’s hospital. (Courtesy of the Personal Office of President Barack Obama) (Chuck Kennedy)

Obama Claus also dropped by individual patient rooms for one-on-one visits with children and their parents. He gifted one 12-year-old patient who was nervous about heading to high school next year a piece of advice: “Even the cool kids don’t have it all figured out.”

Before leaving, Obama thanked the staff for working during the holidays and recorded a video message to be played on the hospital’s internal TV system for those he wasn’t able to visit during the trip.

Only a handful of the Children’s National staff knew that the president was coming to town, but word spread quickly during the 90-minute visit. By the time he was headed for the door, a crowd had gathered at a nearby nursing station. The group of doctors, residents and nurses cheered for Obama before busting into an impromptu rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

A crowd greets Obama on his Dec. 19 visit to Children’s National. (Courtesy of the Personal Office of President Barack Obama) (Chuck Kennedy)

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Mom sells stillborn son’s crib at garage sale – 1 week later, the buyer returns with a surprise

Valerie Watts experienced what no parent-to-be should ever have to experience. She was 9 months pregnant and had just a few days remaining before she was due to give birth, when she received the tragic news that she was carrying a stillborn baby.

The young woman’s grief must have been unimaginable. What’s even more heartbreaking is the idea of being left with a nursery filled with a crib, toys and baby clothes – but no baby.

It took her a while, but Valerie eventually chose to sell the crib in a garage sale – but she was not prepared for what would happen after it was sold.

Now this beautiful story is making its way all over the internet.

Fox9 about the week before her son Noah was tragically stillborn.  

© YouTube

After the traumatic experience of giving birth to her dead son, Valerie couldn’t bring herself to sell any of Noah’s things or touch the nursery she had made for him. She was so devastated that she left it untouched for a year.

In May 2014 however, she believed she had gathered enough strength to set up a garage sale and sell Noah’s belongings and baby furniture. It was a difficult decision and she forced herself to put some of the items on sale – in particular the crib which she seemed to be attached to the most. Somehow in the back of her mind she thought it would be the last thing anyone would want to buy.

To her surprise, an older man by the name of Gerald took a liking to the piece of furniture. Gerald restores old furniture on his spare time and thought he could make use of the crib. He was persistent about buying it but could sense a feeling of uncertainty from Valerie’s side.

“She was kind of hesitant, I knew that maybe she didn’t want to sell it. Yet she did,” he told Fox9.

© YouTube

Gerald had no idea what the real reason behind the garage sale was. He had seen Valerie sell baby clothes and just assumed her child had probably grown older and she no longer needed all this stuff.

Little did he know that his wife, who was also at the garage sale, had earlier been chatting with Valarie and asked her how old her child was. Valarie explained that her baby passed away in July and it just broke the lady’s heart.

Gerald packed up the crib into their car and he and his wife headed home. On their way, his wife told him Valerie’s story. They realized what this crib must have meant to her and why she seemed so hesitant to sell it. They decided that they had to take the piece of furniture back. 

But Gerald also understood that it could be just as equally painful to have it in the shape of a crib – so he decided to transform it into a beautiful bench as a memorial for Noah. 

© YouTube

A week later, Gerald returned to Valerie’s house with the gift. The unused crib was now a beautiful bench which would sit in her home as a memory of her Noah.

Valerie was left in tears by the beautiful gesture of this gracious stranger. 

“It’s amazing, and there’s good people out there, there’s proof,” she tells Fox9.

Talk about a wonderful and thoughtful gift from Gerald! This lovely bench can now honor her dear Noah.

There are many parents out there who have gone through something similar to Valerie. Please consider sharing this story as a way of showing solidarity with these parents.

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4 Gift Christmas Challenge – Want, Need, Wear & Read

Christmases in my house are very different from the Christmases I had as a child. My mother would shower us with gifts…too many gifts…too much money spent. As an adult, I didn’t know any other way, so when my children were young, I did the same thing. Dozens of gifts and hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars spent.

It wasn’t until the year after my divorce that I realized how crazy my holiday shopping had been. That first year…not only did my children get a dozen gifts from me…but they got a whole bunch from their dad….their grandmothers, their aunts and their uncles. All of a sudden, my kids were up to their ears in gifts! And the worst part is…if you asked them what they got for Christmas..they couldn’t even remember any of the gifts!

In 2011, I put a stop to the crazy holiday spending and told the kids that they would now receive only 4 items from me. Only 4. I fully expected a coup d’etat to take place…but guess what…they were cool with it. They didn’t even complain once! So now every Christmas, my kids get the 4 items you see listed below (plus, this Christmas Eve Gift!). And here’s what I’ve found…they are more grateful for the gifts they do get…they remember each gift and we get to spend more time together as a family instead of picking up wrapping paper!

I dare you to take the 4 Gift Christmas Challenge this year:

I think you will be surprised at how well your children respond to this new kind of gift giving!

I love all the ideas that I saw before “Kitty” ruined the happy flow, and things got mean and nasty…

I posted this already – but I am going to try to get out of the mean line, and into the happy line…

My mom, Bless her, worked her booty off all year, scrimping and saying, doing Christmas saver clubs and all kinds of stuff, to provide an awesome Christmas to my brothers, sister and me. I really do not remember many of my Christmas gifts, nor many of my birthdays and birthday gifts.

Christmas, for me, was ruined when I was 14, and my uncle died. I remember the day so well, and the gift I got from HIM for Christmas… but none of the other gifts I got… Since I have children, I try really hard to not let myself ruin it for them. My heart is melting. It’s been nearly 30 years, and I can honestly say, I kinda like Christmas now {again}!

My children are 10, 12, 16, 20, 21, 23, 24 (his, hers and ours) — All my children got presents from Santa growing up. My older kids knew to not say anything negative about Santa, and the last year that we celebrated Santa at our Christmas, was because kids at SCHOOL broke the horrible news to my younger son, who came home and said “Santa is not real. We don’t have to get presents from Santa any more. We know you get the presents for us that say from Santa.” That was 2013.

I love my kids tremendously. Last year, I wrote a letter to each of my kids, with their year’s worth of accomplishments. I sent all 7 of them through the mail. And all 7 letters came to my house (planned).

I had the adult children come over one night for a family dinner. I handed out the letters, and they each read their letters to themselves, as my husband and I watched. My husband is a great fake-out person. He can keep a straight face. I cannot. I tried to hold my smirks… but I ended up leaving the table, claiming the need to use the bathroom. LOL.

The older kids were “creeped out” that someone knew SO MUCH about them… but never did they suspect that my husband or I were the culprits. My younger 2 sons were amazed and astonished that Santa has reached out to them… Even though they thought he weren’t “real”.

I let the letters issue settle, and then on new years day, I told all my kids I had written the letters. I told them that I was proud of them, and that I loved them. The kids loved the letters after that. <3

I had originally intended on writing JUST the 2 younger ones, letters… But then I thought “How great would it be to give the kids a note, expressing how proud of them I was?!” So that’s why everyone got letters.

That year:
*1 kid graduated high school, and started working full time at the same place his dad works.
*Another adult child was enrolled in beauty school and had made personal triumphs, including getting a job on her own, and stepping out of her comfort level to do so.
*Another adult child changed her job path from a dead-end job to a nursing job.
*Another got herself a “first real job” that she makes a good $10.50 an hour at now, and she moved out of her daddy’s home.
*My now 16 yr old chose a leap of faith and stepped out of her comfort zone and moved in with me and my husband… She has Asperger, and changes scare her and disrupt her life.
*My younger 2, I made note of their schooling, their friends and if their teachers had said “good things” about them. I even included a line about their principle having confirmed their good deeds at school. I also included a line about me and my husband having contacted Santa about how well they were trying to behave at home.

By the end of it all, my kids felt really proud of themselves. And I saw a HUGE change come over the whole lot of them. Standing taller, smiling more, less fighting. As I said – I am proud of every one of my children.

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Valentine Day Surprise Gift For Husband

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Gift Certificates – NYC Foodie Gifts – Foods of New York Gifts


Have a food-focused friend?
A NYC fan in your family?
Trying to impress a work buddy?

Give the gift of a NYC Food Tour.
It’s the one gift they’ll never return or exchange.
Perfect for foodies, history buffs & NYC lovers.

No need to book flights, hotels, or travel dates.

Delivery Options

Instantly email the gift certificate to the recipient with a personal message.

Instantly download the gift certificate to print and deliver at your convenience.

Fun ways to pair a gift certificate

Food Tour gift certificates are alway a winner — and they can be super personal too. We’ve pooled together our absolute favorite ways to compliment a Foods of NY Tours Gift Certificate. Now you can customize the gift-giving experience and take it to a whole new level with our clever suggestions for the perfect pairings.

Some pairings are handmade, others bought, and a few are easily downloadable right from our website. They are all brag-worthy combinations and you are sure to be the hit of the party. Become a master gift-giver, once and for all.

For Bakers: Perfect items to pair with a Food Tour 

A dozen cookies

(baked by you) 

A secret family recipe

written on pretty paper 

A whisk & wooden spoon

tied together with raffia 

For Diners: Big ideas to bundle with a Food Tour


A $114 gift certificate will cover the tour plus all additional fees for 2 people on most of our tours.

Gift certificates (e-certificates) are purchased as an AMOUNT and are not specific to any tour/neighborhood. The gift receiver can choose to apply the financial amount for any neighborhood of their choosing.

Searching for a unique NYC gift?

Our food and culture tours provide a great experience for everyone! We have been giving walking tours of our favorite historical and delicious New York neighborhoods since 1999.

Our guided food tasting tours combine:

Interesting history, culture, architecture, mom and pop local establishments, insider food information, and of course delicious food tastings. We offer tours seven days a week, 365 days a year–which make gift certificates very easy to redeem.


The tour was the highlight of the trip! Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the food and the history. He was so entertaining, and the food was FABULOUS! I was full halfway through, but couldn’t stop eating, especially when we got to the cannoli!

Sheena P.

I was hesitant to go on a food tour. I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the time or money. I was WRONG. One of the best things I’ve done in NYC! Our guide was amazing and had so much knowledge! I will do another! WORTH EVERY PENNY.

Gabrielle G.

I am not the tour type. I live in NYC and got this as a gift but was skeptical. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What a great time! Not only does the guide entertain, she feeds you! We were treated like VIP’s everywhere. BEST GIFT EVER.

Eileen Z.

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Gift Baskets for Babies Gift Ideas, Gift Baskets Gifts for Couple –

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30th birthday gifts | Great Gift Ideas

30thGood things happen when you reach the age of 30.
It is the time when your career is at its peak
and wherein you will start to have a family of
your own. As such, by the time one reaches
the age of 30, all the surprises and challenges
are about to unfold.

One has to be ready for what lies ahead and
starting it off with big birthday bash will do
the trick. For those who are attending,
bringing a gift that is extra special is a must.

30th Birthday Gift idea number 1: A book of wisdom

Books will never fill you in as far as choosing the best
30th birthday gift is concerned. Actually,
it works for all ages and for both sexes.

Inspirational books can provide people with wisdom to
deal with life’s challenges. There are also informative books
that will help you achieve your dreams and be the best person
that you can be. At 30, you have the whole world right in front
of you and you need a good adviser to direct you to the right path.
Your family and friends may not be around but a nice book
will always be there to lift you up and keep you inspired all the time.

Another 30th Birthday Gift idea for the Home Owner

At this age, most people have already established
their own Home. Make the celebrator’s place more livable by
thinking of a gift that he or she can use in living independently.
A small home appliance will come in very helpful. A microwave oven,
a coffeemaker or a toaster are some of these appliances that you can give.
Right now, there are a lot of appliances that have been designed and
released for use by just one or two persons. You can get hold of these
types because they will not only save space but they will come
in perfect for just the right number of persons.

Another 30th Birthday Gift idea is to get that professional look

Move up the corporate ladder and give that impression of
somebody who is capable of handling bigger tasks.
Power dressing is the first step into achieving that kind
of success in the workplace. Thus, for somebody’s 30th
birthday, a nice suit is welcomed. You can get a sleek
tie that will match the receiver’s outfit or you can get a
girl a new tailored jacket.

Another 30th Birthday Gift idea is shoes and Bags

Shoes are nice gifts too but you have to make sure that you
get the right size for the celebrator. Bags have their own
way of accentuating an outfit too. You can settle for a
black leather bag where everything can be stashed by a typical
career woman who has a lot of stuffs with them. Meanwhile, men will
look good too in a black and shiny leather portfolio.

Great Gift Ideas
Here are some great 30th Birthday Gifts from Amazon

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Thanks the GGI Team

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