For a military family living in Massachusetts, Christmas came a little early this year.
Underneath the family Christmas tree was a larger-than-life gift, a surprise perfectly planned and executed by mom and dad.
Michelle Silva Girouard is used to the military family life, raising her children on her own while her husband is deployed.
The Girouard kids have spent the past nine months without their father’s physical presence.
Staff Sgt. William Girouard had been in Kuwait and was expected to come home sometime in December — but nobody knew exactly when.
Michelle Girouard had cleverly taken her kids out to breakfast, WHDH reported, leaving the house vacant for a certain someone to sneak into a ginormous Christmas box under the tree.
When Michelle returned home with her kids, she invited them to open the enticingly large gift near the tree.
As her kids tore away the paper, they could be heard excitedly wondering what (or who) was inside.
Only the eldest Girouard child was tall enough to peer into the top of the box, giving her an exclusive peek inside.
— Michelle Girouard (@Billysgirl4126) December 2, 2018
“It’s Daddy!” the kids exclaimed as a uniformed Girouard slowly stood up.
The kids were bouncing up and down with excitement, completely surprised by the homecoming.
Daughter Loriana Girouard told WHDH that she was “definitely surprised.”
“We didn’t know exactly in December when he was coming,” Loriana said. “I guessed maybe a week or two weeks before Christmas.”
Now, her father is home with enough time to create plenty of 2018 Christmas memories.
The Girouard family understands that not every military family will be able to gather together this Christmas season.
Some soldiers won’t see much of a Christmas at all, relying on video chats or good old fashioned snail mail to communicate over the holidays.
As the Girouard family gathers together this Christmas, they will be able to give thanks for who is around the tree and not just the stuff waiting underneath.
But for these kids who have been waiting nine months to see their dad, we hope there’s some pretty fun stuff under their tree, too, that they can enjoy together.
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