Many say Santa Claus speaks a special language that all the children of the world understand. For one Santa, Santa Charles, that language is American Sign Language (ASL), and he makes holiday dreams a reality by visiting deaf and hard of hearing children.
Deaf Santa Claus, also known as Santa Charles, is one of the only Santas in the country who communicates with children using ASL. As part of Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas festivities, Santa Charles will visit the resort on December 18 to help make Christmas wishes come true.
From 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. CT, the resort will host a private event for children from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to visit with Santa Charles. From 10:00 a.m. – Noon CT, the experience will be open to guests who pre-purchase a Deaf Santa Photo Package online. Photo packages begin at $40.00 and include a keepsake photo with Santa Charles and can be purchased online here.
Those who reserve a session with Deaf Santa will also receive a special code for discounted tickets to ICE! after their visit.
A graduate of the International University of Santa Claus, Santa Charles says he feels a greater connection to guests who visit with him because he has a full understanding of the deaf experience. He will be joined at his Gaylord Opryland appearance with his real-life wife, who portrays Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus, who is also deaf, helps make every child’s visit special.
“We are excited to help make Christmas wishes come true and bring joy to all at Gaylord Opryland this year with Santa Charles,” says Tom Petrillo, General Manager and Managing Director Gaylord Opryland. “We are dedicated to creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity for everyone at the resort, and hosting Santa Charles helps reinforce that belief and commitment.”