Patients at Palmerton Hospital had to know they were in for a special treat once they heard that all too familiar tone.

Indeed, that distinct voice could only mean one thing: Santa Claus and his helpers had arrived with a bag of goodies to brighten their stay.

Those patients lucky enough to hear that "Ho-Ho-Ho" soon found themselves in the company of Santa, who kindly handed them a bag of goodies.

Concealed inside each bag was a Christmas ornament, candy cane, orange, crackers, and a pencil.

Patient Polly Steinmetz, of Palmerton, said she's always glad to see this Santa Claus in particular.

"My sons sat on his lap," Steinmetz said. "He's a good Santa."

The annual visit was organized by members of the Palmerton American Legion Post 269 and the United Veterans Organization of Palmerton.

Ed Moyer, commander of the Palmerton American Legion Post 269, said members are glad to help boost the morale of the patients this time of year.

"It really feels good to help these people out," Moyer said. "The legion would love to do a lot more, but bringing Santa to see them puts a smile on their face."

After its visit to the hospital, the group was scheduled to visit the Village at Palmerton, where it planned to give out more goody bags.

The legion, which meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, is always in search of new members.

Anyone who would like to join can call (610) 826-7475, or (570) 325-9657.