By Marlee Ginter

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Many rushed into the new year without looking back, but a group of kids is hanging on to some life-long memories.

In 2020, we learned the right way to wear a face mask, the importance of tracking ICU capacity and just how devastating a lightning strike could be.

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But we met some little ones who learned something else. Four- and 6-year-old little girls learned the magic of Christmas.

“I got these bracelets and a necklace from Santa,” the 4-year-old said.

“This is like a new beginning for them,” Sandra Morales said. “They know that there’s someone out that does love them.”

Morales opened her home to five foster children. For four of them, 2020 was the first time they ever celebrated Christmas and their first visit with Santa, while the past year had many moments we’d all rather forget.

“He came down the chimney and he walked over there,” said the 6-year-old.

But after taking a moment, we found that some people remembered the good parts after all.

“Yes, I am very proud,” said Carol Smith. “My daughter-in-law became a nurse.”

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“Our daughter got accepted to grand canyon university,” one man said.

“Newborn nephew, he’s I think 4 months now,” another man said.

“I got a new dog. Got a little pitbull, Rocky,” a third man said.

So while many of us may be quick to wash our hands of the year like no other, the littles in the Morales home learned there can be magic – even in the most difficult times.

“Their face lit up, like it was so amazing to see them,” said 18-year-old Jersey Salazar.

“Just absolute surprise, eyes wide. and you could hear it in their voices,” said Tim Morales.

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The Morales’ have 7 children in their home altogether.  But even through the chaos of 2020, they’ve managed to make lifelong memories.