Dressed as Santa, Bill Jindra of Twinsburg is continuing a tradition that began more than a century ago: spreading holiday cheer to hospice patients. Santa and his elves - friends who volunteer to help him each year - arrive at David Simpson Hospice House bright and early Christmas morning. They deliver flowers, fruit, candy canes, popcorn balls and other small gifts to residents and visiting loved ones. 

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Bill says the family tradition is now in its fifth generation. It all began in in 1916 when his grandfather, along with one of the doctors at Cleveland’s former Saint Alexis Hospital, began visiting patients there on Christmas morning. When the hospital closed its doors, the Jindra family brought the tradition to Hospice of the Western Reserve. They have faithfully visited David Simpson Hospice House every Christmas morning for 16 years.

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Even though Bill is never home Christmas morning to open gifts with his own family, he insists on keeping the tradition alive. “I love being here,” he says with a twinkle in his eye. “I can’t imagine staying home to open socks and underwear.”