Santa gave this boy who is blind and autistic the best gift. (I'm not crying, you are.)
This Santa knows that sometimes the best gifts don't come in packages.
In a viral post, Facebook user Misty Wolf shared a story about her son's visit to Santa that has the whole internet in tears.
Wolf's son Matthew is blind, autistic, and genuinely fascinated with Santa Claus. So when she took Matthew to a store to visit Santa, she whispered in the jolly old fella's ear, "he is blind and autistic and really interested in Santa."
"Say no more," said the saintly St. Nick. Then he worked his magic.
Wolf said that Santa "immediately got down on the floor to greet my little man. He talked to Matthew for a long time. Let him feel all over him. Told him to pull his bear, feel his hat and talked about his red suit."
"He asked Matthew if he wanted to feel anything," she wrote, "and Matthew said, 'your eyes that twinkle'" in reference to the poem 'Twas the night before Christmas. So Santa let the boy "touch all over his eyes for as long as Matthew wanted."
Ouch, my heart.
But that wasn't all. Santa went above and beyond for this little boy.
Wolf wrote that after that the Santa asked Matthew if he'd ever felt a real reindeer. "Santa then carried him over to the display area" and "had Matthew pet the taxidermy reindeer they had set up. It was great. My heart was full seeing Matthew so interested."
The photos Wolf shared show how Santa got down on Matthew's level and let him feel his face and beard, and how he showed him his reindeer. The images could not be sweeter.
People with disabilities frequently have to fight for acceptance and inclusion. That's why this story is so heartwarming.
Parents who are raising kids with mental or physical differences face daily challenges in society. From kids who can be cruel, to adults who don't understand, to spaces that make no accommodations for those with disabilities, life can be tough for these families. Many times, things typical families do, like visiting Santa, can be touch and go.
The fact that this Santa knew exactly what to do to make Matthew feel both special and normal at the same time was beautiful. He is a prime example of what acceptance and inclusion look like for kids with disabilities.
As Wolf said, "Best Santa ever!"