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Father Christmas knows sign language! Mall Santa stuns deaf boy, 3, by using sign to ask if he's been naughty or nice
16:13 GMT, 25 December 2012
Three-year-old Cameron Sylvester, who is legally deaf, was too scared to sit in Santa's lap at a mall in suburban Boston, that is until Kris Kringle surprised him by asking in sign language if he was a good boy in a scene straight out of the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street.
Like many other families, the Sylvesters recently paid a visit to Bass Pro Shops in Foxboro, Massachusetts, to have pictures taken with the resident Santa Claus.
While the three-year-old's sister, Arianna, ran to get in line to sit in Santa's lap, Cameron, who has a condition called auditory neuropathy, was too shy and stayed back with his parents.
Scroll down to watch clip from Miracle on 34th Street
Signing Santa: Kris Kringle, left, surprised three-year-old Cameron Sylvester, right, who is legally deaf, by asking him in American Sign Language if he has been a good boy
Family time: Cameron's older sister, Arianna, rushed to get in line to meet Santa, but the toddler was too shy and stayed back with his parents
‘His sister Ari jumped right up there and Cameron just…he didn't want anything to do with it,’ the boy’s father told WCVB.
That is when St. Nick, who was interacting with other kids at the time, spotted the blue hearing aids in Cameron's ears and took notice of how the toddler, who has been learning the American Sign Language, was communicating with his mother.
‘The mother was signing a little bit, so I used the opportunity to sign to him,’ the Santa told WCVB news. ‘And I just asked him “are you a good boy”’
Life imitating art: The 1994 remake of the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street features a scene in which Santa Claus is able to communicate to a deaf girl by using sign language
Cameron was elated that Santa knew how to sign, and the boy's parents were touched by the gesture.
'I wanted to cry,' Cameron's mother
said. 'A lot of people don't know sign language, and there's Santa, and
he knew what Cameron needed to see.’
mall Santa meets with some 18,000 children each Christmas, making his
attentiveness to Cameron's condition all the more special.
Special touch: The Bass Pro Shops Santa sees about 18,000 children each Christmas, but he was not too busy to take notice of the little boy's condition
Moving experience: The boy's parents were overjoyed and touched that Kris Kringle cared enough to take notice that their son is deaf and communicate with him in his own language
Christmas spirit: The mall Santa said he too was touched by the boy's reaction to his signing
‘It’s touching, because it’s nice to know that there are people still left in the world that care,’ said Cameron’s father.
The three-year-old and his parents were not the only ones who came away from the encounter in high spirits.
'It's wonderful,' the Foxboro Santa said. 'I live for moments like those.'
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