This is Barak writing from CP's hospital room.
OK, so sitting on Santa's lap did not really happen. That would be inappropriate and would scare the little children. But tonight was about as close as you can get to that from here.
There was a Christmas party for grown-ups at the City of Hope. Santa came from the North Pole, bringing gifts and granting wishes. (Actually, Christine and I arrived after Santa had left, but someone paged his little helpers and Santa made a special second visit.)
All the patients got raffle tickets, and Christine won! I guess it's her special luck. Her prize was a gift card that she hopes to use after she leaves the hospital. The entertainment consisted of a guitarist, a Harpist and a banjo player, the perfect combination for Christmas carolls.
Then beauty queens from Miss Asia USA walked around handing out scarves and posing for photos. At one point, Christine had everyone pose with their arms outstretched like Broadway stars. The funniest thing was seeing Santa leaning over to Christine, clearly nervous about spoiling her imprompu Christmas photo shoot, and asking her for stage directions. (In the end, they all followed her lead.) We took a few photos and shot some video, sang some carolls and told a few jokes.
I think Christine forgot that she was still tied to an IV pole, because in the end she insisted on taking group photos with the carollers and playing the harp from her wheelchair. We got some candy canes from Santa, and in typical Christine fashion we were literally the last people to leave the party.
It looks like Christine will be here for a few more days, just healing and getting better. She's a little uncomfortable with cramps, but in very good hands and on very good medication. Christmas may be a little lonely this year, buy it'll be one heck of a good day to be alive.