When a little girl went to a local mall to sit on Santa’s lap, she was overjoyed to learn that Kris Kringle knew sign language.
The sweet interaction between Santa and the little girl was captured on video by a bystander at a mall in Middlesbrough, England, Express reported. Her mother can be heard in the background, unseen, talking about her daughter’s special needs.
The little girl and mother are unknown, and the footage was posted on November 5.
First of all, the Santa on duty that day at the Cleveland Centre is probably the most authentic-looking imitation ever seen. With a honest-to-goodness white beard, not a fake one, a kind face, and wise glasses, even adults could be fooled into believing he’s the real thing.
In the brief snippet, the little girl plops down on Saint Nick’s lap with an excited look on her face. Then, her mother’s voice can be heard in the background after her daughter seems not to recognize that he’s trying to get her attention.
Without missing a beat, he asks whether she uses sign language. The mother replies yes, that her daughter can sign simple concepts like animals and the like, the Daily Mail noted.
No problem for Father Christmas. He taps the girl on the shoulder and starts a conversation with the child. The intimate interaction seems to delight her.
A Redditor was able to provide a translation, which was then transcribed by Tech Insider.
“Santa wants to know did you write to ask for a baby doll?
“Yes I want a baby doll too.
“You want it too? Do you want a video game too?
“No. You are able to use sign language?
“Do you want a bicycle?
“No I don’t want to fall.
“I’m nice. Santa is nice.”
However, the Daily Mail reported that the youngster actually asked for a scooter, so for now, the true nature of their little chat shall remain private.
The Cleveland Centre posted the video on its Facebook page, and received accolades from people who thought it was wonderful the mall had hired a Kris Kringle who knew sign language. In a comment to a local paper, a mall spokesman addressed the praise.
“We believe the Cleveland Centre Santa is real and this truly shows the magic and spirit of Christmas, just like Miracle on 34th Street. He wants to make sure every child who visits really does experience what this time of year is all about. He will take his time with each and every child and will try and put a smile on their faces. He has been coming to the Cleveland Centre for four years now and this has got to the most truly amazing few minutes we have experienced.”
Indeed, the scene is reminiscent of the one in the 1994 Hollywood remake, in which the jolly chief elf, played by Richard Attenborough, he talks in sign language to a young customer named Sami.
However, it’s not usual for malls to have a Kris Kringle on staff who speaks many languages, Refinery29 noted. Thanks to ASL-proficient and bilingual Santas, children who are hearing-impaired or speak other languages don’t have to worry about their Christmas wishes going unheard.
“It is so important that deaf children and young people do not miss out on special moments such as meeting Santa, as well as everyday conversations with classmates and playground games. Communicating clearly, learning some basic signs, or picking up some tips, can be an excellent way of breaking down the barriers.”
[Image via YouTube]