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Published December 22, 2013, 08:24 AM

Signing Santa allows deaf children more inclusion on holiday experience

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - This time of year, children are looking forward to sitting on Santa's lap for a holiday chat, and thanks to one local event, many more children can love the experience without having to worry about a language barrier.

By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - This time of year, children are looking forward to sitting on Santa's lap for a holiday chat, and thanks to one local event, many more children can love the experience without having to worry about a language barrier.

This is what Christmas sounds like for some people…

But your holidays probably sound more like this…

When your first language is Sign Language, simple holiday traditions can be a bit more challenging; but not here...

Because Santa signs, too.

At the annual Signing Santa event at Trollwood Performing Arts School, deaf kids and children of deaf adults can tell Saint Nick what they want firsthand.

Hard of hearing Santa Claus has been showing deaf kids for about 28 years that they are not alone.

Santa Claus: "Often I will show them my hearing aids, show them my sign language, I'll talk with them; whatever is necessary so that they know the way they are is okay."

Not everyone likes sitting on Santa's lap, but the ones who do can't get enough of him.

The event draws in deaf parents of hearing children, as well.

Brandi Peterson- Mother: "It benefits my daughter because she gets more exposed to deaf people and a deaf Santa Claus, and exposed to seeing/hearing people here, too; so both deaf and hearing people can enjoy this."

Paula Kelly loves the event so much that some years when Quota International of Fargo-Moorhead couldn't fund it, she paid for it out of her own pocket.

Paula Kelly- Quota International of Fargo-Moorhead: "It's so exciting to see the little children be able to talk to Santa in their own language, and just; it's just heartwarming."

This Santa Claus knows one language is hands down louder than them all: the language of the heart.

Signing Santa Claus is free, thanks to help from Bell State Bank.

It's held every year on the second Saturday of December.

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