Signing Santa brings joy to deaf children

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Dozens of deaf and hard of hearing children in Oklahoma City got the chance to share their Christmas wishes with Santa through sign language.

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Dozens of deaf and hard of hearing children in Oklahoma City got the chance to share their Christmas wishes with Santa through sign language.

With Christmas lists in tow, Oklahoma City children bring their wishes to Santa in a way many wouldn’t understand.

“There’s the fascination in their eyes to see someone who truly understands them,” “Santa” Gary Davis said.

Davis was born deaf. He can usually be found teaching at Oklahoma University. But on Thursday, he brought Christmas magic to The Shoppes at Northpark.

For some folks, like Rita Vickery, it’s a tradition. Vickery has taught deaf children in the metro for years. “Every year we waited and came to see him,” Vickery said.

Now she’s back with her own great-granddaughter. “Come if at all possible,” Vickery said. “See him. The children love it.”

Children come and go, grow up and bring their own kids to see the signing Santa.

But one visit in particular stuck out for Davis. He described one child who asked him, “You know what I want for Christmas? I want my parents to learn how to sign.”

According to Davis, this communication makes kids feel less alone.

Proceeds from the Santa stand at the Shoppes at Northpark go to the Northwest Oklahoma City Rotary Club for charity.

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