Santa Claus may live in the North Pole, but a group of Montreal children didn’t have to fly that far to find him this week.

The kids were taking part in the fourteenth annual Flight In Search of Santa, a joint collaboration between the Children’s Wish Foundation and Air Transat.  For some, it’s a welcome happy end to a tough year.

Yannie Leduc’s son, Thomas, spent five months in hospital undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Today, he says he’s feeling much better.

“It’s just being normal again and doing something magical and something different than being in a hospital room for five months, full time,” said Leduc.  

Before taking off to find St. Nicholas, the children enjoyed some ground-based activities, like face painting, colouring a mural and meeting an airport security dog.

“It’s an amazing day where there’s no sickness, no treatment, we don’t talk about sickness or anything else,” said Children’s Wish Foundation Quebec Director Juli Meilleur. “We’re just here to celebrate Christmas.”

Once in the air, the man of the hour himself came out to spend one-on-one time with each child, hearing their holiday wishes and doling out presents.

A happy start to the holiday season, for the little ones who deserve it most.