December 24, 2015
One New Jersey Santa has gone viral after his recent encounter with a 22-year-old man with autism was shared on social media.
Casey Hackett and his parents went to visit Santa Claus at Dambly's Garden Center in Berlin, Camden County, last Friday.
When it was his turn to meet the man in red, he was invited to sit on St. Nick's lap and share his wish list. The two spent several minutes talking and joking together.
Casey’s mother, Meria Hackett, captured the encounter on video, which she then posted to the center's Facebook on Saturday.
In the post, which generated more than 240,000 views as of Thursday, Hackett thanked the staff at Dambly's for the memorable moment, calling their Santa "a truly amazing man."
Her full post is below:
We could not thank you enough to Santa & the staff here for yesterday. My son Casey is 22, Autistic & a simply Big Fellow lol. Casey was #3 in line to see him. We did not tell the staff nor Santa about Caseys Autism. We just watched in awe the reaction between Casey and him. Thank you for allowing us to witness the true Christmas spirit still. If anyone has any doubts about the $10.00 they are charging. Trust me I would have paid more for this. He is truly an amazing man.. this was priceless. Merry Christmas
Hackett later posted a thank you message from her son addressed to the Dambly's staff and everyone who viewed his visit with Santa.