Walking the hallways with a giant bag of gifts over his shoulder, the 44th US president didn't disappoint. Picture: YouTube.com

Former US president Barack Obama surprised staff and patients at a Washington DC hospital after pitching up, unannounced.

Donning a fluffy red Santa hat, Obama came armed with gifts at Children’s National hospital in Washington, D.C. According to Today the hospital is the same one his wife Michelle visits every festive season. But this year, he went all out. 

Walking the hallways with a giant bag of gifts over his shoulder, the 44th US president didn't disappoint. He visited a playroom and even went as far as stepping into patients' rooms to the delight of children and their parents.

Dressed in jeans and jersey, he posed for selfies, handed out gifts, and even recorded a message for those he couldn't get around to during his visit.

“At a time that obviously is tough for folks, and as the dad of two girls, I can only imagine, in that situation, to have nurses, staff and doctors and people who are caring for them, and looking after them, and listening to them and just there for them and holding their hands,” he told hospital staff.