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Magic of the holidays: Make-A-Wish children fly to North Pole, meet Santa

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Children with Make-A-Wish Minnesota got the chance to meet Santa Claus at the North Pole Tuesday.

The organization, with the help of Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines, put smiles on the faces of children who've been battling various life-threatening medical conditions.

"We went through 995 days of treatment for leukemia and these little types of things are actually really big things," Bruce Gerth told WCCO.

Each child, ages 3 to 6 years old, received a special bell and boarded a Christmas-themed plane at festively decorated Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the "North Pole," where they got to meet Santa Claus.

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This was the seventh year of the flight to the North Pole. Here's a highlight video from last year's event:

Holiday Train

The flight to the north pole isn't the only mode of transportation that's putting smiles on children's faces this holiday season.

A train of "brightly decorated railcars full of Christmas cheer" will be stopping in the Twin Cities this week as the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train makes its three-week trek across North America.

At every stop, the Holiday Train puts on concerts and events for people while taking food bank and monetary donations for people in need. The events are free, and all the donations stay in the community where they were donated, KSTP says.

It's first Minnesota stop was La Crescent on Saturday and it'll be making a total of 18 stops in the state by Dec. 15. Check the full schedule here. It'll be stopping in ​Cottage Grove at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a stop northeast Minneapolis at 8:30 p.m.

The railway has raised $9.5 million and 3.3 million pounds of food since the fundraiser began in 1999, the news station notes.

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