Deaf Santa Brings Joy To Idaho Kids Who Can't Hear

Dec 20, 2017

Sonny Claus in action.
Credit Idaho Power

It's an annual tradition in southern Idaho. 'Sonny Claus' dons his Santa suit and sits down with area kids who can't hear, using sign language to communicate their Christmas wishes.

By day, Sonny Cabbage is a biologist at Idaho Power. He's also deaf, and one day about 24 years ago, he decided to start playing Santa Claus for kids who couldn't speak with most of the jolly old elf's representatives.

Now, every year 'Sonny Claus' delights deaf children by signing with them as they sit on his lap about what they want for Christmas. It's a partnership with Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind.

Cabbage says when he was a kid, his parents gave him a piece of paper to write down his Christmas list, which he handed to Santa. But since Saint Nick didn't know sign language, all he could do was take the paper, give young Cabbage a candy cane and send him on his way. He says being able to talk with kids about what they want using sign language makes all the difference.

Thursday, Cabbage will don his 'Sonny Claus' suit and head for Ponderosa Elementary in Meridian. He'll be on hand for kids from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Here's a look at 'Sonny Claus' in action, back in 2013:

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