For parents nationwide, one of the biggest Christmas traditions has easily got to be taking your kids to meet Santa Claus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. While not every child necessarily reacts all that well to it, it can be a pretty magical event to meet the man in the red suit himself, listen to his cheerful voice, and tell him what you want more than anything in the world for Christmas.
Of course, meeting Santa isn't necessarily going to be the same experience for everybody. While some kids have a laundry list of toys they want to get, others come from households where they're lucky if they get even one present, which can easily make meeting the man in red a bittersweet experience. On top of that, kids with significant disorders or disabilities can often have a drastically different experience of meeting the man, if they even get to at all.
Which is what makes the moment that a little deaf girl gets to meet Santa Claus all the better, because as it turns out, she and Santa share a few things in common...
Michel David is a Montreal, Canada resident who began to lose his hearing at the age of 15, and what he remembers most of all is the feeling of isolation that he felt growing up with a condition that few people could understand.
"I think too many kids grow up ... thinking that I'm all alone," he said during a CBC interview. "There's no one else like me in school, or the whole world, and that's wrong. There's so many of us. It doesn't matter if it's Christmas or any other event, they need to be included."
David now tours around and plays Santa to deaf kids across Canada, and the results are hearwarming. Like when three-year-old Molly Giroux, who has cochlear implants and degenerative hearing loss, gets to sign to Santa for the first time ever, and he responds back.
"For the first time she's actually heard Santa," said Eric, Molly's father. "To see her smile like that with Santa was really fun to see."
For Michel, sorry, Santa, it's a labor of love.
"You can just see their eyes brighten up. They look at you and go, 'Oh wow, Santa's just like me.' I say, 'Yeah, you and I, we're special.'"
We all love this man's enthusiasm and giving heart!