It's never easy for infants and children to be in the hospital, but it's especially tough during the holiday season.

To make some patients' time at the hospital a little more jolly, Santa took time out of his busy schedule to visit the tiniest patients and their families at Saint Alphonsus Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Boise.

These tiny patients and their families get to experience Christmas magic thanks to volunteer Santa Mike Rampelberg.

"He's very gentle if the babies can't be held. He'll stand next to the incubators and get that first picture with Santa, or we'll have him hold the babies that can be held and get that first picture," one neonatal nurse said.

But this special Santa doesn't come alone. He brings Mrs.Claus and their "reindogs". 

Mike and Diane Rampelberg run Dustin's Paw Idaho, a non-profit providing certified canine therapy to disabled or medically fragile children and adults in the Treasure Valley. 

Mike and Diane bring the therapy dogs with them to the NICU, dressed up as reindeer, and these "reindogs" are something the families don't forget.

"It is really a heart thump, it's really fulfilling to participate. I especially like getting my picture taken with the babies in the actual NICU and then to be able to come out here and see them as graduates," Rampelberg said. "We also work with them at the Saint Alphonsus STARS pediatric clinic as they grow up."

Patty Jackson of the Idaho March of Dimes says these volunteers make the holidays bright.

"They have been coming here to the Saint Alphonsus NICU for 8 years and it just brings some holiday cheer and hope and normalcy to an otherwise very difficult situation - we're always so happy to have them," Jackson said.

The dogs are the stars of the show. The families and hospital staff are always happy to see the kids and interact with them.

"It's really a warm kind of relationship. We've been here for thirteen years in the Valley working with the dogs and we're looking forward to another 13," Rampleberg said.

"It's so great for our families, parents feel comfortable especially with their medically fragile babies coming back to Saint Al's and seeing Santa," Jackson said. "It wouldn't be the same without them, Christmas wouldn't be the same. They just bring something very special to the families here, and they are just amazing."