(NEW YORK) — Christmas came early to a mom and daughter whose son and brother, respectively, decided to turn his homecoming from military training into a holiday surprise.
Chris G., a soldier in the U.S. Army whose last name was not released, has spent the past eight months away from his home and his family while undergoing basic training. When he knew he’d be able to make it home for Christmas break, he decided just showing up at his family’s door would not be enough.
“I got with my uncle about a month before and planned out the surprise,” Chris explained in a post on WelcomeHomeBlog.com, a website that posts military homecoming reunions. Chris knew he would be allowed to go home on Dec. 17, but told his mom and his sister he’d be home three days later, on the 20.
“He [Chris’s uncle] would come pick me up, and I’d wait at my grandma’s house. My grandma would then invite my mom and sister to her house for dinner,” he wrote.
The plan, as Chris himself wrote in the post, went “flawlessly, exactly as planned.”
In a nearly four-minute video posted on the site, Chris’s sister can be seen walking into the home first and making her way to the back of the house, where Chris is hiding.
“I got you,” he says to his sister as she stands with her hands over her face, too emotional to speak.
After a long time hugging, the two siblings agree he must go see their mom, also in the back of the house. Chris pulls an even greater surprise on her, standing behind her silently, shocked that she doesn’t even know he’s in the room.
When she turns around, she goes between stunned silence and screams, to then hugs and tears.
“Merry Christmas,” Chris says to his mom in the video.
“I knew she would have the biggest reaction, so I’m glad she ended up being last,” he later wrote. “It was definitely worth every lie I had to tell them. I absolutely love to surprise them!”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chris Isidore, CNN
Sherisse Pham, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN