In 2008, 3-year-old Kensley Penney sat on Santa’s lap and told him that she wanted a truck and her daddy for Christmas, promising she had been a good girl that year.
Little did she know, one of those wishes would soon come true.
A video uploaded to YouTube of a CNN segment shows little Kensley, who looks like a real-life Cindy Lou Who, wearing a Santa hat and clutching a little red, white, and blue doll. Where the doll’s face would be there’s a photo of her father, Sargent Scott Penney, who had been deployed to Afghanistan in March of that year.
Kensley’s grandmother explains that she and her granddaughter kiss the special doll and “say prayers for daddy” before going to bed every night.
When Kensley’s grandmother first asked the tot what she wanted for Christmas she said she didn’t know. But one day at Walmart, she revealed she wanted two things: a truck and to see her daddy.
The segment shows Kensley at her local church sitting on Santa’s lap. After telling him her Christmas wishes, Kensley sees her dad appear from a hiding spot wearing his fatigues. After getting over the initial shock of having her dad in front of her, Kensley give him an enormous embrace and squeaks, “Hi daddy! I miss you! I love you!”
Reunions like these are what holiday magic is made of. Share if you’re looking forward to seeing a special relative this year!