A toddler hilariously signing “help” while sitting on Santa’s lap makes the social media rounds again, and it’s a family holiday tradition.
Kerry Spencer’s funny 2017 photo came back up for Christmas again from her family’s trip to the Provo Town Center Mall in Provo, Utah.
At the time, the mom told NBC’s Today show that she taught her 1-year-old son to do sign language so she could communicate. But she never expected Samuel to send out an SOS while on Kris Kringle’s lap. The mall photographer caught the boy in the act for posterity.
We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for “help.” You’re welcome. pic.twitter.com/i6NkxBf4KP— 🌈Dr. Frizzle (@Swilua) December 5, 2017
“I was standing to the side when the pic was taken and actually didn’t see that he was signing for help until I saw the photo,” Kerry Spencer said. “Poor buddy didn’t love Santa very much, ever really. So we didn’t try to get him to go much after that.”
Photo Gets A Good Laugh
The mom said she keeps posting the photo now as it is “one of our favorite family traditions.”
And with a bit of explanation, Kerry Spencer went on to Tweet that her son’s sign was “mispronounced.” She told Twitter fans that the boy’s thumb should be up and not sideways.
“Babies learning to sign often mispronounce words, but it is the sign he always made when he needed help,” Kerry Spencer said.
Several years ago now. It’s a family tradition to post it on Facebook every Christmas. This year my friend @metteharrison made me tweet it. So I did. Lol.— 🌈Dr. Frizzle (@Swilua) December 7, 2017
The following year, the mom Tweeted out that she should’ve made money with the photo.
Santa Signs With Kid In Classic Christmas Remake
In the 1994 remake of the famous “Miracle On 34th Street” film, Santa communicates with a deaf girl at Cole’s department store.
When Kris, played by Richard Attenborough, asks the girl what she wants for Christmas, the girl’s mom tells him that Sami is deaf and she just wants to sit on Santa’s knee.
The touching moment proceeds with Santa using sign language with Sami to tell her she’s “a very beautiful young lady.” The two go on to sign the lyrics to “Jingle Bells.” Both Sami and mom are happy.
According to IMDb, the girl was deaf in real life and one of three deaf siblings from a deaf couple. Attenborough reportedly asked for her not to rehearse the scene, “so the surprise on her face when he signed to her was genuine.”
In malls across America, Santas have worked to create the moment over the years. One 7-year-old girl in California was surprised in 2018 by a talented Father Christmas.
Sosie Horwitz’s eyes lit up when Santa understood her from the start of one Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza visit.
“It’s better to have a Santa who signs,” she said through an interpreter to Fox 5. “Because then I don’t have to say I don’t understand.”
Horwitz’s parents took the girl to see the same Santa every year. Word spread about this signing Santa. He said he started with one or two children coming each year. Now 30 or 40 visit.