The Balk Café at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital was transformed Friday evening into a magical North Pole Christmas workshop.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Resource Team hosted the Sib’s Secret Shopping Studio for young patients in the hematology and oncology division who might not be able to make it out holiday shopping this year.

Each patient and sibling was given a Christmas shopping list and paired with one of Santa’s helpers to pick out presents for their family members. They then had the opportunity to get their gifts wrapped while parents waited outside in order to keep the presents a surprise.

“When a child is hospitalized, their freedom is taken away from them,” said PORT coordinator Colleen Thompson. “This sibling event makes it possible for them to enjoy choosing gifts for their families.”

Families also enjoyed cookie decorating, hand painting, cheesecake and pizza.

“The children are excited about getting their families holiday gifts, and to have the opportunity to meet other children with similar health concerns,” Thompson said. “The evening is a joyous celebration of life and gratitude.”