Natalie Stroud received her Christmas present a little early when Santa Claus crashed her third-grade recital to announce a very special surprise.
The recital began just like any other and as Natalie’s music teacher was bragging about the class, a big “Ho, ho, ho” bellowed through the auditorium and Santa walked in from the adjacent hallway.
“Do you have a Natalie Stroud singing here?” the jolly man dressed in a red suit asked. “We have a big surprise for Natalie!”
Santa then walked off, leaving the class full of anticipation.
What Natalie didn’t know was that her mother had reached out to her principal, the man inside the costume, and her music teacher to orchestrate a heartwarming Christmas surprise.
Natalie had not seen her older sister, Kylee, in months because Kylee had been stationed hundreds of miles away with the Air Force.
In that moment, she had no idea just how soon she would get to wrap her arms around her.
Just a few moments after Santa disappeared, her music teacher pulled a little red wagon with a huge wrapped present sitting inside.
The audience could see what was inside the half-opened box, but Natalie was still trying to grasp what was happening. As she looked over the big, white bow she saw a face she had only seen through video chat and random pictures — her infant niece.
It took the third grader a few minutes to recognize who the sweet baby was, but once she did, the tears started rolling down her face.
If her niece was there, she knew that Kylee would not be far away.
She wasn’t. In fact, she was watching the entire surprise unfold behind the stage curtain.
Kylee stepped out from behind the curtain to give her little sister the first hug in months as Natalie melted into a puddle.
Her sister was home for Christmas and it was the perfect Christmas surprise.
“She said she didn’t need anything else for Christmas,” Natalie’s mother said, “because sissy was home.”
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