Children in a kindergarten class at Old County Road School in Smithfield spent Thursday morning talking about what they want for Christmas.
For one lucky boy, his wish was granted right then and there.
Maddox Canton's father, Denis Canton, spent seven months in Afghanistan with the National Guard.
When he found out three days ago he was being sent home, he decided to surprise his children. Maddox is 5 and his sister, Ryley, is 3.
Canton crept up behind his kids while they were listening to a story about Santa Claus. At first they looked like they had been surprised by a stranger, until they realize who it was.
Canton said he had to avoid his children the night before, which was the hardest part.
"It was actually my plan. I wanted to surprise him, so I had to hide it all night. Last night, I was really anxious. I wanted to see him, but I finally got to do it today and I'm glad," Canton said.
"The best gift they wanted was for their dad, and I think they got their wish," said Maria Canton, the soldier's mother.
Canton will spend the holidays at home with his family. He's home until the National Guard decides if it needs to send him anywhere else.