Area Man Becomes Sign-Language Santa For Deaf Children

Steve Miller
December 16, 2019 - 6:03 pm
Sign Language Santa

courtesy: Keith Strnad


(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- This is the day that an Oswego couple has waited for all year long.

"I don't want to sound cliche, but it's really one of my favorite days of the entire year. My wife and I look forward to it, just because we know how many lives we can affect."

Keith Strnad and his wife, Shelley, are Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. To be more specific, they are Signing Santa and Mrs. Signing Santa.

They meet with deaf and hearing-impaired children at Chicago Ridge Mall and at Louis Joliet Mall.

Strnad says the kids ask questions in sign language: "They ask all kinds of questions that any child would ask."

Strnad answers them in sign language.

"This morning at Chicago Ridge Mall, I probably had 25 kids ask for an iPhone 11, which always makes me chuckle,” he said Monday.

"And then you have the very, very serious ones.  A little girl asked me, she wanted to be warm for Christmas.

"Those kinds of moments give you pause."

Strnad has been Signing Santa for 10 years now.