Readers Favorites

  1. Santa and the Superheroes

    No doubt, the security guards at Children’s Mercy Hospital have seen a lot of strange things. But never had they witnessed a Christmas Eve visitors’ list like this.

    Some might...

  2. Little Surfer Dude

    Tadan Foss is a boy made for the beach.

    Like the ocean, his 4-year-old smile is big and wide, beautiful and bountiful.

    Like surfer dudes, he likes his locks long and...

  3. A Story of Hope

    Seated at the head table in the Kauffman Foundation’s conference center, 17-year-old Hope Corwin finally understood her Christmas gift.

    There she was, one of 209 high school girls at the...

  4. The "Christmas Carol" Dinner

    They wanted to create a magical meal he and his family would remember.

    On Christmas Eve, four of Kansas City’s finest chefs gathered in a secret underground Elf Testing Kitchen...

  5. Let it Snow

    When the chemo started and nurses told 9-year-old Mason Kempf to think of something happy, he thought about snow.

    Even though the outside breezes were soft and warm and the...

  6. The Polar Express

    For several days, the cold had put a choke hold on the train's pipes. No bathrooms, no showers, no laundry. And this train couldn't stop for repairs.

    The 19 volunteers...

  7. The Time Capsule

    Midmorning Christmas Eve, two pointy-hatted visitors crunched up the snow-covered driveway of 15-year-old Rachel Hoffman╩╝s Olathe home.

    They thumped on the door.

    “Are you Rachel?” the bigger one asked.

    Rachel nodded.

    “Merry Christmas.”

    The...

  8. The "Honey-Do" List

    The second thing Charlie Brison thought about, when his doctors diagnosed his lung cancer, was the list of repairs he needed to do for his family, before...

    The ultimate “honey-do”...

  9. A Guardian Angel

    She was so mad at God, Datha Jackson had stopped praying to him.

    In July, her 15-year-old daughter, Heather Tice, was in a car crash and was rushed to St....

  10. A Gift of Memories

    Elizabeth Schmincke has no Christmas tree. Not one light or decoration. No presents. Not even a lousy candy cane.

    "We're not going to have Christmas," she said Friday in her...

  11. Visions of Sugarplums

    Ally Woodbury knew something was up Saturday when her mother took her shopping for a ball gown. A gown to make Ally feel “like a princess,” her mom said.

    After...

  12. Soaring With Eagles

    Leslee Slinger knew this Christmas Eve would be the best ever: Her big brother was home.

    This would be the first holiday that Derek Slinger, 18, would not spend in...

  13. The Magic Acorn

    Chief Elf slouches at his desk, a blitz of yellow sticky notes circling his computer screen like a wreath.

    At Elf Central, all is quiet at 2 a.m.

    But with just...

  14. Hunter's Flight

    In the early weeks of December, there were good days for Hannah Saulsbury.

    Days when she could play like any other toddler. Days when she asked to have her fingernails...

  15. The Tiny Envelope

    Perry Bice turns off the van's engine but remains behind the wheel. His shoulders begin racking with sobs. The van doors swing open and two children scramble out.

    "Why is...

  16. Michael's Mountains

    There's something about mountains, he told his mom.

    Michael McMahan, 10, kept asking about the colors of mountains: the blues, the browns, the purple majesties. He stared for hours at...

  17. The Promise

    Josh Bailey used to daydream with his father about how they╩╝d work together, fixing the upstairs of their house so the 10- year-old boy could have his own room.

    They...