Steve Flores, a third-grader at Westwood Elementary School in Concord, visits with Signing Santa at a storytelling and music program for deaf and hard-of-hearing children at Sunvalley mall. The first Signing Santa Day on Dec. 6 included children visiting Santa and having their photo taken with him, a performance by the Coda Sisters, snacks, and playing in a 30-foot dome filled with falling snow, a light show, and featuring scenes from the family film "Ice Age: Continental Drift." A special on-screen sign language interpretation of the film featuring deaf actors, also debuted. Following the private event, Signing Santa visited with both hearing and deaf shoppers throughout the day and evening. The Ice Palace remains open through Dec. 24. For more photos of Santa Signing Day, see page 12.

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