It's going to take a lot more than a visit from Santa to make 5-year-old William Merry's Christmas.
Even with the help of a station full of Minneapolis firefighters.
A month and a half ago, some of them found William and his mother, Theresa, unconscious in their burning, smoke-filled Northeast Minneapolis home. They had been summoned by a neighbor who noticed flames on the porch.
"We scooped him up and gave him CPR," Raul Ramos, a six-year veteran of the department, remembered on Friday. William's mother was found lying by the back door.
Their recovery has been halting: William spent a month recovering from burns over about a third of his body. "He was incoherent for a week and a half," said William's uncle, Orlan Merry.
William's 46-year-old mother is still battling the ill effects of carbon monoxide inhalation and burns at the Hennepin County Medical Center: Her chances of survival are slim, said her brother.
But members of her family aren't the only ones who have been pulling for her recovery: "We'll be praying, too," said Tim Thornberg, president of Local 82 of the firefighters union.
As for William's holiday, the firefighters invited the boy, his 15-year-old sister, Cathy, his uncle and his aunt Bonnie Merry from Big Lake, Minn., to Station No. 6 on Friday.
"Firefighters become emotionally attached to situations like this," said Minneapolis fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek, who was on hand for the meeting on Christmas Eve day.
The firefighters presented William with a new bike and a check for $2,500. The boy's bike was lost in the fire, along with everything else.
"It will mean a lot to him," Bonnie Merry said. She said she knew about the gifts, including the new bike, in advance, but didn't know about the check. She said the mother would be happy, too, knowing about the firefighters' kindness. "I know she can hear," she said. She and her family were planning to visit Theresa after the ceremony.
But "presents aren't going to change anything," said William's teary-eyed sister, Cathy. She had been staying with a friend the day the fire broke out at her home.
Still, hope can't hurt.
"It's Christmas," Ramos said.