“Do you believe in Santa Claus?”

He walked up to Peggy Potter, 59, of Kansas City, Kan., who was looking at some framed prints at a thrift store. He made some small talk, put his arm around her and within minutes she was crying. Her son died about a year and a half ago. Her husband died in July and her daughter died soon after that.

“I’m just … today’s been a rough day for me, just thinking about my loved ones,” she said. “I’ve been having a hard time paying for all the funerals.”

Santa gave her $200, listened more, hugged her, and told her the poster she was holding had special meaning. It was a photo of two hands, one large, one small.