Deaf Santa Claus uses American Sign Language to bring the joy of Christmas to deaf and hard of hearing children

By | December 2, 2022

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Santa Claus can communicate with children all over the world in many different languages, but deaf and hard of hearing children have struggled to understand why they can’t share their holiday wishes with Santa. For kids who are deaf and hard of hearing, this year’s visit with Santa will offer a joyful, new experience. The Gaylord National Resort, located just outside of Washington D.C., will host (deaf) Santa Charles December 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. for those who communicate via American Sign Language (ASL). With his authentic beard and jolly red suit, Santa Charles is one of the country’s few deaf Santa’s who exclusively communicates in ASL.  

“We feel it’s incredibly important to offer this holiday tradition to children in their own language, without the need for an interpreter,” said Jennifer Cerasani, director of marketing and public relations for the Gaylord National Resort. “With so many children in our area who are deaf or hearing-impaired, this Christmas will be magical, memorable and truly authentic.”

“Too many children are not seen for who they are and aspire to be, and this is the connection I strive to make with every individual I meet. What each of us can do – Santa Claus or not – is make that person feel seen and valued,” said Santa Charles representative Anthony Mowl.

Guests are encouraged to reserve a December 12 photo session with Santa Charles prior to their visit. Professional photography provided by DEI, and a variety of photo packages and keepsakes are available for purchase. Parents are encouraged to sign up today as space is limited. 

Guests who visit Gaylord National December 12 can also experience ICE! for the first time since 2019, and fan-favorite activities like ice skating, ice tubing, ice bumper cars and gingerbread decorating. They can also experience shows like the new Cirque: Spirit of Christmas and SHINE light show. Newly-added experiences include an over-the-top gingerbread display, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, a NITROPEPSI pop-up featuring holiday-themed cocktails and mocktails, and more. Gaylord National will also offer its popular Christmas Suites – decked out in holiday décor for a home-for-the-holidays feel.