A Watauga boy, who is blind and autistic, got to "see" Santa for the first time and photos of the visit have gone viral.
To his mother's surprise, Matthew, 6, took an instant liking to Santa touching his beard and feeling his eyes.
"Went over there and whispered real quick, 'He's blind and autistic but very interested in Santa.' He said, 'Say no more,'" said Misty Wolf, Matthew's mother.
She took Matthew to see Santa at Cabela's. Her husband's photos revealed a trust from Matthew they usually only see at home.
"All children need is love," said Santa.
It was the thread that wove reality with imagination.
"He felt Santa's suit, Santa said pull on my beard, feel my hat," Wolf said. He also touched a reindeer because he didn't know what one felt like.
"He's never seen a reindeer, never seen a picture of a reindeer, let him feel one. We have them right here," Santa said.
One of Matthew's favorite books is the night before Christmas. He took the chance to touch the twinkle in Santa's eyes.
"It never occurred to me, but Matthew didn't really know what a twinkle was he wanted to know what eyes that twinkle were," Wolf said.
Matthew's curiosity was sparked a few weeks ago when he came across a figure of Santa Claus in a store.
"The radio played 'Silent Night.' I said this song is about baby Jesus. After some silence he said is it Santa's birth day or Jesus' birthday?" Wolf said.
The day Matthew visited Santa, he only asked for water.
"He's not like other kids who want toys. He's not into that, he'd rather have the experience and find out what Santa is," Wolf said.