By Jennifer Mayerle

HINCKLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — A young girl got her Christmas wish early, thanks to a special Santa.

Arianna Sam’s grandparents adopted her when she was little. They’re the only parents she’s ever known. So when her dad died in September, it deeply affected the 9-year-old. Her wish was to hear from him just one more time. WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle shares how Santa helped bring happiness back into Arianna’s life.

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A young girl who lives inside a Hinckley home wished for a special stop from Santa. She wrote him a letter and included a second note.

“The other one was to my dad because, well, he’s gone so I wrote him a letter and I told Santa to go back to heaven and see what my dad would say back,” Arianna said.

Arianna thought Santa could help because “he flies,” she said.

She’s spent a lot of time wanting to be alone since her dad died in September.

“I miss him and stuff because he was my dad and it’s really sad. I asked him to go up to heaven and give me a note from him just to see, like, what he’s up to and stuff,” Arianna said.

Her mom helped track Santa down.

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“This one, I don’t know what it was but there was something special about it, so I figured I’d better do something about it,” Santa said.

(credit: CBS)

He did. When the Sam family visited Santa recently, he brought the magic of the season.

“Towards the end that’s when Arianna come up to me, I recognized her right off. I reached in my pocket, pulled that letter out and I gave it to her and I said, ‘This is a letter that your dad sent to you.’ When I handed her the letter that made the whole deal right there,” Santa said.

Arianna tearfully took it home to read: “I know you miss me Arianna, I want you to know that I miss you, too. Every day I think of you always and someday we will see each other again. Please do not be sad when you think of me,” Arianna read.

It came with a little angel. Arianna said that letter, that gift, will help get her through all the tough spots in life.

“It means that he’s watching over me and he loves me still,” Arianna said.

And for mom, Santa delivered.

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“I cried because it made her Christmas better. It made me and other people believe. The spirit of Christmas is special,” Patty Sam said.

Jennifer Mayerle