A Christmas tradition played out Sunday at Newfoundland and Labrador's only hospital for sick children, as members of the RCMP organized a party headlined by Santa Claus himself.

For 29 years, the RCMP have hosted a get-together at the Janeway Child Health Centre in St. John's. For some children, Sunday represented their only opportunity to see Santa, sometimes through bedside visits.

"It was nice - it was a great relief," said Christina Thoms, whose daughter Maria, 3, had a brain tumour removed three weeks ago.

"It certainly brightens the day everyday to see something like that happen and it gives the kids something to look forward to."

The day also included a concert, and culminated with gifts donated by corporate sponsors. How many presents were handed out? Even the Mounties couldn't keep up.

"I did, yes, I lost count," said Assistant Commissioner Tracy Hardy.

"It was just so wonderful going in and out of the wards and seeing the children that, yeah, I wasn't keeping track."