The Most Heartbreakingly Beautiful Santa Photo You'll Ever See

"Just be there for a random stranger this holiday."

A moving photo of Santa going viral on Facebook shows him not with a child on his knee... but with a photo of a child who couldn't be there.

Little Hayden was not quite 6 months old when he died shortly before Christmas last year. The baby's dad, Kyle Daniel, went into a Georgia mall last week to take a special photo capturing an experience his son never got to enjoy when he was alive -- a moment with Santa.

Caleb Ryan Sigmon, an actor who has been portraying Santa and writing about the experience on Facebook, described the poignant moment on his "Stories from The Big Chair" page:

"Without anyone saying anything, he handed me the frame and I placed it on my knee. In the photo, I could see on the little boy's armband that his first name was Hayden. I didn't ask any questions, but I am guessing that this is his first photo with Santa. The camera snap was the only sound I could hear through the entire mall"

Daniel tried to pay for a photo package, saying it would be a gift for his wife. However, Sigmon wrote that he sent the grieving dad home with a photo package as a gift.

"As he walked out, we all had tears in our eyes," Sigmon wrote. "I'm sharing this to remind us all that Christmastime is unbelievably hard for some families. Pray for the brokenhearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another."

On a Facebook page set up for little Hayden, the dad asked all those touched by the story to pay it forward.

"All we want is for you all to do something nice like Caleb did for us," he wrote. "Just be there for a random stranger this holiday. You don't have to do anything big, sometimes all it takes is a smile and a hello."

Also on HuffPost:


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds