We all know the struggle of getting kids exactly what they want for Christmas. For most of us, it usually comes down to having to wait in a long line or paying a hefty price for a toy. But back in 2008, the family of Kensley Penney, a 3-year-old girl from North Carolina, really didn’t know if they could make her Christmas wish come true.
Because Kensley didn’t just want any old toy—she wanted something special, something she had been dreaming about for months.
“I asked her if she wants dolls for Christmas and she said no,” her grandmother told WXII 12 News. “I said ‘Well what do you want?'”
When Kensley finally gave her an answer, it was more than anyone was prepared for:
“I want a truck and my daddy.”
The problem: her father was Sergeant Scott Penney, who was currently serving in Afghanistan. He had been away since March, and, while Kensley prayed for her dad every night and carried around a special doll with his photo inside, she was missing the real thing.
“She always says, ‘Lord, take care of my daddy and bring him home,'” her grandmother said.
But after nearly a year of waiting, Kensley knew there was only one person she could turn to to make her dream a reality: Santa Claus.
So when the big man himself visited the local Pine Hills Church, Kensley was there with her family, ready to ask him for her Christmas wish.
It was time for her to sit on Santa’s lap. But after sharing her wish, something incredible happened.
Santa pointed someone out in the back of the room. Kensley immediately recognized who it was.
Christmas came early for Kensley, and she got exactly what she wanted—an emotional, long-overdue reunion with her dad.
“Hi, Daddy! I missed you!” she tells him as she runs into his arms.
“I love you!”
It was another one of Santa’s Christmas miracles—with maybe a little help from Kensley’s family.
“This was something we really wanted to do for her for Christmas,” her grandma told WXII.