One of the things that makes Christmas so special is that it reunites families who sometimes haven’t seen each other for months.
Often work is put aside, distances are negated and for a few days all is how it should be in the world. It’s a time where moms and fathers get to greet sons and daughters, grandparents get to see new grandchildren, brothers and sisters are reunited, and friends celebrate with friends they otherwise can’t.
Nowhere is the happiness more evident than in a home wherein one of the family members is a serving soldier. With the war in Afghanistan now the longest American military conflict in the country’s history, different families have been experiencing Christmas without their loved ones for 18 years.
As a result, when a solider comes home for the holidays, it’s generally a pretty big deal.
Specialist Ethan Harris did a tour of Afghanistan as part of the 101st Airborne Division. He spent more than a year in training for deployment and then actually in action itself, before returning home. Since his return coincided with Christmas, however, his dad knew it was too special a chance to pass on surprising his mom.
So, whilst working closely with her work colleagues, Spc. Harris donned an altogether different sort of uniform.
Kim Harris, Ethan’s mom, works at Prairie Heights High School in Indiana, as a maths teacher. Knowing her son is an active serviceman can’t be easy for her, especially when he’s deployed to a place like Afghanistan. She knew her son was back on U.S. soil, but to her knowledge he was at Fort Campbell.
Now, the staff at Prairie Heights High School have a holiday breakfast on the last Friday before Christmas break. At the breakfast, they run a lottery and have a person dressed up as Santa handing out gifts.
Little did Kim know, however, that this year the lottery had been rigged. Hers was the first name out the hat.
Being a good sport, Kim took a seat on Santa’s lap as the crowd laughed. Then Santa asked her what she’d like for Christmas.
Kim answered: “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men.”
When Santa pressed her, she continued: “My list is very, very long.”
She went on to say that she already had one of the best presents she’d ever got in her life. Her son was safely home on U.S. soil, and she couldn’t ask for much more.
When Santa asked where he was, however, things took a turn.
“Fort Campbell,” Kim replied, only for Santa to ask: “Are you sure?”
It was then that Santa pulled down his beard to reveal himself as Ethan. To say his mom’s reaction was one of surprise is an understatement.
Watch the incredible unveiling in the video below:
It’s videos like this that truly warm our hearts.
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