Holidays can be a tough time for military families.
Parents, spouses, and children of soldiers spend the holidays yearning for their presence while hoping they stay safe throughout their deployment.
Oftentimes, soldiers talk to their families online, but of course, nothing beats being home for the holidays.
That was Kim Harris’s only wish.
Kim is a math teacher from Prairie Heights High School.
Her son, Army Spc. Ethan Harris was deployed in Afghanistan.
As a mother, she could only hope for her son’s safe return and that he could spend the holidays with them.
It seemed like a farfetched wish, but anything is possible especially if Santa is listening.
Coincidentally, their school had a lottery during their Christmas breakfast.
The lottery would give the winner a chance to ask Santa for whatever they wanted for Christmas.
In a video posted by KPC News, Superintendent Alan Middleton is in the middle of choosing the winner.
While Kim could only wish to have her name called, the results were already rigged.
Middleton called her name, and before she could even go up to the stage, a surprise guest appeared.
Santa Claus joined them for breakfast.
Or at least, a man in Santa’s costume.
Middleton continued with the act when he heard bells jingling.
He proudly proclaimed that Santa was there to spread some holiday cheer.
Kim was invited to sit on Santa’s lap.
Like a little child, she told him what she wished to receive that Christmas.
For the veteran teacher, material things didn’t matter as much.
At first, Kim was mighty generous with her wish.
She said “Peace on earth, goodwill to men,” much like how typical carols go.
Santa asked her about the best gift she received thus far.
She said that the list-topper of all the blessings she received that year was knowing her son was back from Afghanistan and safe on U.S. soil.
Santa then asked her if she knew where her son was.
Kim said that Ethan was at Fort Campbell all the way in Tennessee.
Santa then asked her if she was sure that he was there, to which she insisted that he was.
The next moments overwhelmed Kim with emotion.
She was meant to win the lottery that day because Santa was not who he said he was.
Santa pulled down his beard and revealed his true identity.
It only took Kim a moment before she hugged Santa Claus like she was not planning to let him go.
Her son, Army Spc. Ethan Harris, had dressed up as Santa that day to surprise his mother!
Ethan had arrived back in their community a few days earlier and instead of going home, he chose to make it a bit more special.
To make the surprise possible, he hid at his sister’s house for a few days until the school breakfast.
He was not alone, though.
Kim’s husband, John Harris, thanked the people who helped them pull off the surprise, telling them that he needed to lie a lot of times.
If that’s the cost of a good surprise, then we believe that all is forgiven.
The important thing was that Ethan was back for the holidays and they would be spending them together as a family.