Holiday Extravaganza: The Party

Holiday Extravaganza: The Party

 

"Everything that we've ever owned was totally gone," recalls one woman. "My

mom called in such a panic, saying, 'I think this is the big one. We have to get out of here.' I had just bought a home." She, and other families like hers, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, fly in for the party, courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

 

"We felt this was our turn to really give back," says one host family.

 

Another man is grateful for the host families. "If it wasn't for them, we'd probably still be out, riding around, trying to find a place to stay," he says.

 

 

A busload of excited children pull up and Robin gets on. "Everybody, guess what? We're going to a party! Dr. Phil really wants everything to be a huge surprise for you. And when I say surprise, I mean, out-of-this-world, magical, wonderland

surprises!"

These families, who've been through so much, want nothing more than to see their children smile and laugh, and to forget about their troubles for one magical evening.  

 

Dr. Phil and Robin open up the North Pole gates and the children run in to find Santa welcoming them to a winter wonderland! Many of the children have never seen snow before. They joyously throw the white powder in the air, laugh and run around.

"I was so excited meeting Dr. Phil and Robin," says one little girl. "They're so joyful, exciting and heartwarming."

 

The first special guest is Raven Symone! "My family is also from Louisiana, so my heart goes out to you, as well," she tells the families. She informs the kids that they will all be getting her favorite childhood toy — a Cabbage Patch Kid!

 

Then, Jennifer Love Hewitt drops by! "I brought you guys a present. My favorite toy when I was growing up was this little guy — Mr. Potato Head!"

 

Jennifer joins the children as their families take pictures with Santa on his sleigh.

Teri Hatcher joins the festivities and offers to read a story. The children gather around as she reads, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Teri's gift for the kids is the hottest toy this year — the IZ — a musical toy for the iPod generation! "Merry Christmas, everyone!" she says. 

 

This year's American Idol, Carrie Underwood, moves the families with a performance of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." She gets a surprise herself when American Idol judges, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, sneak up behind her at the end of the song.

Carrie's favorite toy when she was growing up was the Care Bear. All the children will get their own Care Bear to take home!

Carrie Underwood's CD, "Some Hearts" is available in stores now.

 

The children go crazy when Dora the Explorer makes the scene!

But the party is not over. The next performers are the band Smash Mouth. They play some of their popular songs and the kids join them onstage!

"This has been such an amazing night. I didn't expect the snow. I didn't expect the hot chocolate. I didn't expect the stage performance," says one little girl after the show.

"I think our Christmas wish is for everything to get better for the kids. For them to have presents under the tree, clothes on their backs, a roof over their head and food on the table," says Smash Mouth's lead singer, Steve Harwell.

Smash Mouth's new CD, "The Gift of Rock" is available at www.smashmouth.com.