Christmastime means photos with Santa Claus for many families, and with that the inevitable outcome of children screaming on his lap, begging their parents to take them away from this strange man in a red suit. But one child had a different response to his encounter with Old Saint Nick.
Kerry Spencer brought her son, Sam, to see Santa at a mall back in 2005, and to get his picture taken, as many parents do this time of year. But Spencer had taught her son how to speak to her in sign language. When he was placed on Santa’s lap, Sam looked to his mother — and signaled the word “help” to her.
We taught our baby sign language. This is the sign for "help." You're welcome. pic.twitter.com/i6NkxBf4KP— Kerry Spencer (@Swilua) December 5, 2017
The fact that her son signed the word for help, coupled with his uneasy expression while sitting near Santa, made her picture, which was taken 12 years ago, go viral this year, as Spencer shared it on Twitter earlier this fall.
Some were quick to point out that Sam’s sign was not the actual sign for “help,” but close to it. Spencer was quick to give a response, indicating that she knew what her son was trying to tell her.
Which sign variant is this? BSL and ASL are a bit different (thumb up fist on palm upwards flat hand). I think the left hand might be moving away? Maybe I'm overthinking this...— James Alex Gibson (@JamesAGibson) December 6, 2017
And to all the commenters saying he did it wrong, he was one! Give the poor guy a break! ??— Kerry Spencer (@Swilua) December 8, 2017
(This is the actual sign:) pic.twitter.com/0pgfRmbdk7
Sam isn’t the only child in the household who has commented on the odd traditions of Christmas. Spencer’s 11-year-old child also got in the action, explaining how they likened “Elf on the Shelf” to pop singer Sia.
11yo: Are we doing elf on the shelf?— Kerry Spencer (@Swilua) December 1, 2017
Me: Do you *want* to do elf on the shelf?
11yo: Here's what I think. Parents move it and then they fake act like OMG HOW DID IT GET ON THE CHANDELIER
11yo: Like, who are we? Sia?!https://t.co/NnpZfD1EYn
Sam, now 13-years-old, also has his own Twitter account — which is currently named in honor for the viral picture he’s famous for.
I happen to be the baby in this photo. You may direct all likes and follows to me now. https://t.co/oA5kvSZrcO— That one baby that doesnt like Santa (@DextrousWolf) December 6, 2017
Spencer’s children have provided us with a few laughs this year, with their quirky observations on Christmas and the strange holiday traditions we are used to following. Spencer said she still looks forward to posting the picture every year.
“We all laugh at the picture now. It is a family legend,” she said.
Many kids have enjoyed getting their pictures with Santa, but some have expressed discomfort or even fear at meeting him. Spencer’s son’s take on the jolly old man, however, is one that elicits smiles and laughter, which is really what this season is all about.
Banner / Thumbnail : Stefan Wermuth / Reuters