‘Signing Santa’ allows deaf children in Denver to ask for Christmas gifts in their own words

Posted at 2:02 PM, Nov 21, 2019

DENVER — The line to see the big man in the red and white suit stretched long at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, as kids from various schools came to see Santa. The only difference here is how they asked for what they wanted, and how Mr. Claus responded.

This Santa communicated with the kids via sign language.

“The signing Santa program has been a part of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center for more than 25 years,” said Anna Davis of the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, which sponsors the program.

Brett Butrick brought his two kids, who both have bilateral hearing loss, to see Santa.

“They know that they’re heard with this, and get to have that experience with other kids with hearing loss,” he said. “The joy that they have is awesome.”

The "signing Santa" is one of only three or four in the country who knows and communicates using American Sign Language. He was flown into Denver specifically to visit with nearly a hundred kids from several area schools.

“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Davis said.

This story was originally published by Jason Gruenauer on KMGH in Denver.