You’ve heard of Santa’s helpers, but sometimes the big man himself lends a helping hand to make holiday wishes come true. That’s exactly what happened at a Tennessee mall this week when a soldier enlisted Santa to help him surprise his daughter with a holiday homecoming.
Sergeant Trent Baskerville just returned from a 10-month deployment in Afghanistan and wanted to do something special for his kids. His six-year-old daughter, Jordynn, had repeatedly mentioned asking Santa to please bring her dad home, so Baskerville and his wife came up with a brilliant plan to surprise her. They enlisted the help of a local mall Santa who would meet with their kids and “grant” their oldest daughter’s Christmas wish.
Baskerville’s wife, Crisha, took the kids to visit with Santa Claus while Sgt. Baskerville hid behind the mall’s Christmas display. When his daughter told Santa she wanted her dad to come home for Christmas, Santa told the whole family to close their eyes. When they did, Baskerville magically appeared and his little girl leapt into his arms. A local photographer, Christine Mendoza, was on hand to capture the moment for them so they can have these memories forever.
Local news source Clarksville Now was also there to capture the entire thing on video. When Sergeant Baskerville and his daughter embrace, you can hear everyone around them break into applause. Baskerville told Today that pulling off the surprise was “the greatest feeling ever.” He said, “She [Jordynn] looked confused at first, like it wasn’t really happening, but then her look of amazement was incredible. I don’t think there’s anything that can top this moment.”
According to BBC, there are about 10,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are also troops active in about 150 countries around the world. That’s a lot of people who won’t have the chance to spend the holidays with their families this year, and who haven’t gotten to see their kids or loved ones in a long time.
It’s heartwarming to know that at least one soldier got to surprise his kids in such a beautiful way. Hopefully his story reminds us all of those soldiers overseas and of the troops coming home who may need our help. They sacrifice so much. They deserve all the holiday spirit and Santa magic in the world.