Signing Santa

Best. Santa. Ever.

Best. Santa. Ever.

IT’S THAT time of year again. Christmas is just around the corner and you can feel the urgency (panic) in the air and on the roads.

I’m steadfastly avoiding the chaos of shopping malls, except in the virtual world where you can shop at ease (and in your underwear) without being elbowed or causing a public scandal.

It was on one of my online voyages that I came across a magical initiative offered by a shopping centre in the UK called the intu Metrocentre.

Naturally, Santa was going to be dropping in to make a lot of generous promises for parents to try and keep.

And on two special Sundays, Santa would be signing to deaf children clutching their own dreams of bikes, superheroes and so much more.

I flipped over the sheer coolness of the idea, so unique in my experience as the parent of a deaf nearly seven-year-old who has reached peak Christmas excitement in 2015. I shouted my approval to the company from the rooftops of social media and to my delight, I received a wonderful surprise message in return.

How would we like their signing Santa to make a video message for our daughter Amelia?

Is the Pope a Catholic? You bet your life we would LOVE that, I replied. I was really bowled over by the unexpected generosity of their offer to us. There are so few deaf characters or stories in the mass media, but having the big guy from the North Pole fluent in sign language* seemed like a radical start to our festive season.

And about a week later, Amelia’s video arrived in my inbox. The proof of its worth is in the stunning, personalised Christmas pudding, provided by Santa and Mrs Claus:

Christmas morning will be full of lovingly chosen revelations for Amelia. But she has received an early gift this year, and its unique contents made her face shine with joy and unbridled excitement.

Amelia’s mouth dropped open when Mrs Claus mentioned her passion for Spider-Man (how did she know?). She followed the message closely and copied the signs she recognised about the reindeer and snacks for Santa and his helpers.

When it had finished, she pressed replay over and over, endlessly enchanted by it all. It’s simply a gorgeous video; we absolutely love it. Especially the bit where Santa tells Amelia to be a good girl and go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

If he could write that message in the night sky and hang some lights off it, that’d be awesome too.

*Although the message is in British Sign Language and Amelia uses Auslan, many of the signs were familiar to her so she followed it well.

 

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11 thoughts on “Signing Santa

  1. Oh how wonderful!! Such a great initiative, and even better that Amelia got her own message. The joy on her face says it all. So happy for her! Can’t wait to tell my aunty about this when I fly over to the U.K in two weeks to spend Christmas with my family and cousins. I wonder if Sam has attended something like that over there…
    Hope this is a great start to a wonderful Christmas for your family xx

    • Thanks Alice! It is a wonderful idea, isn’t it?! So worth it for her reaction. Enjoy your time in the UK – seems like they have such great initiatives for the deaf community over there. Merry Christmas to you and yours xxx

      • Thanks so much Melinda 🙂
        It seems as though they do. My Aunty has actually started a few programs for the deaf community over there. I’ll have to ask her about them.
        Come to think of it, last time I was there I attended a play ( or pantomime as they called it) that was communicated entirely in sign language. I loved it! Hope Australia follows with some similar programs, especially for kids xx

  2. Oh I love my children to get a message too. How can I ask signing Santa?

    Isn’t that magical? And beautiful to keep Christmas real 🎄🎄🎄

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