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Surprise gift brings CBS 6's Santa Chris to tears

Posted at 5:34 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 17:34:07-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Each Christmas, Chris “Kringle” Munnings eagerly puts on his Santa suit to spread holiday cheer across Central Virginia.

As a photographer at CBS 6 for 14 years, playing “Santa” during CBS 6’s “Month of Giving,” is just one of the highlights of Chris’ exceptional career.

For those folks who are experiencing a difficult time in their lives, Chris’ infectious laugh always brightens the holidays.

But this season, Chris and his family are facing one of their greatest challenges.

In March, Chris’ beloved wife Crystal suffered a massive stroke.

She has been in and out of the hospital six times and had major surgery to help her regain her cognitive and physical abilities.

While the road ahead in rehabilitation is long, Chris describes Crystal as his true “Wonder Woman,” a pillar of strength for their five children and two grandchildren.

Caring for his family while continuing to work full time, Chris’ unwavering dedication is an inspiration to his colleagues at CBS 6. It’s the reason why we wanted to do something special for him this year.

Just before Thanksgiving, the CBS 6 team began collecting donations from the station. The outpouring of love was amazing and enabled us to purchase several gift cards to help Chris’ family with groceries, dinners, and presents for the holidays.

A cashier’s check was also purchased to help the family with mounting medical bills.

Chris had no idea what his colleagues were up to, when he was asked to play “Santa” for a family staying at the Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue. CBS 6 is a partner of the Ronald McDonald House and was thrilled that they agreed to play along for the big surprise.

When Chris unsuspectingly arrived as Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, he didn’t realize that a few colleagues were hiding nearby.

Tracy Sears and Laura French happily greeted Chris on the front porch, before unveiling that HE was the recipient of the CBS 6 Gives gift.

As you can imagine, there were plenty of tears all around!

While CBS 6 loves spreading joy to our community and helping improve the lives of others, it also warms our hearts to take care of each other. The CBS 6 team is truly a family.

Happy Holidays and much love from our family to yours!

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