Santa holds baby photo on his lap

Posted at 10:43 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 00:43:04-05

There's no shortage of hilarity that comes from kids sitting on Santa's lap during the Christmas season.

But for some families, there's heartbreak too.

In his series "Stories from the Big Chair," Caleb Ryan Sigmon is documenting his heartwarming encounters during his stint as Santa this year on his Facebook page. And one has gone viral. The post, from earlier this month, details an interaction he had with a man who came to his Santa station holding a photo of a baby.

Stories From The Big Chair:A man walked in today holding something in his arms. "I have a request," he said, turning...

Posted by Caleb Ryan Sigmon on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The man told Sigmon his son had passed away last year. 

"The camera snap was the only sound I could hear through the entire mall," Sigmon told ABC News. "Normally, I hear all kinds of music and sounds, but it was absolutely silent. After a handful of clicks, we walked over to the screen and he pointed, saying, 'That's the one.'"

Sigmon and his co-worker gave the photo package to the man as a gift. 

"It stayed with me the entire day," Sigmon said. "I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I felt so convicted to share the story. To remind my friends, and myself, that Christmastime is unbelievably hard for some families. Pray for the brokenhearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another."

Sigmon said he realized the post had gone viral when the dad of the baby in the photo reached out on Facebook. "We had a great conversation and have stayed in contact. His family is very glad that Hayden’s story is being shared and that it is touching peoples’ lives."

The 22-year-old Sigmon, in the off works as a professional theater artist: acting, directing and teaching. He also works as an illusionist, "using magic to open up doors to share my story with thousands of people."

But there's something about the magic of Christmas that inspires him to keep 12-13 hour days every holiday season.

"I've had more adults ask me for jobs this year than ever. They are asking me for a Christmas miracle. How do you respond to that? I once had a man in a wheelchair ask me for legs. I’ve been asked by boys and girls to bring their father home or the keep their parents together.

"I can’t do these things, but what I can do is pray for them. I make them that promise, and I keep it. Some instances have allowed me to pray for them right on the spot. This is a responsibility of my job that I take very seriously."