There's something very special about Boise Towne Square's Santa!  That's why he's known nationwide as the "Sleeping Santa."

The Treasure Valley Santa earned international headlines (yup, the photo made it all the way to the UK) like "Mall Santa Improvises with Funny Photo of Sleeping Baby" and "Is this the best mall Santa photo ever?"  The photo seen around the world was taken in 2011, when 8-month-old Kiptyn fell asleep as he waited in line with mom, Sarah and the little boy's grandmother.

The Meridian family had been waiting in line for half an hour and once Kiptyn was down for the count, Sarah decided to get out of line to be courteous to others who were already waiting on a busy Saturday.  Santa wasn't about to let them walk away! He waved the family over, grabbed his story book and laid down in his big green chair. The jolly ol' man silently motioned Grandma to lay down the sleepy Kiptyn on his stomach. Sarah ran around the gate to grab the photo of Kiptyn and Santa "napping" together.

Image via Sarah Pasley

When they saw what happened, shoppers stopped and applauded the magical moment! Sarah shared the story on the Carters Facebook page and it went viral the next Christmas.  It's been shared more than 45,000 times and liked over 360,000!

If you've lived in the Treasure Valley for a while, this story might not be new to you but I had a chance to chat with Sarah this morning and she gave me an update on Kiptyn's special relationship with Santa! She tells us that Boise Towne Square's Santa isn't from Idaho, but he's traveled here to play the part at the mall for over a decade.  Sarah and Kiptyn have gone back to see him every year and he's never forgotten that special photo.  In fact, he actually asked Kiptyn to help him recreate it in 2015 and of course, no one tells Santa "no!" The result of what Sarah calls a bit awkward, but funny moment was as adorable as the first photo.

Image via Sarah Pasley

We've heard so many other stories about this Santa's relationship with the kiddos in the Treasure Valley, so if you've never paid him a visit put it on your Christmas "must" list for 2017! Many grown adults consider this man the REAL Santa.