Little girls’ military father disguises himself as Grinch and crashes their meeting with Santa

December 26, 2017 3:30 pm Last Updated: December 27, 2017 1:50 pm

As any kid around the holidays (or the Whos down in Whoville) can tell you, no one hates Christmas more than The Grinch. The sight of that furry green creature in a Santa suit is bad news—and time to keep an eye on your gifts.

But when two little girls had a run-in with the Grinch, it turned out he wasn’t there to ruin Christmas—in fact, he gave them the greatest gift of all.

Hailey and Abigail Walton were at the Festival of Lights in Dickinson, Texas, to see Santa Claus, and share what they wanted for Christmas this year.

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

But after the younger Abigail told Santa what she wanted (mostly Peppa Pig toys), a mysterious green visitor interrupted their meeting.

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

However, Santa didn’t seem that concerned. He pointed out the Grinch, and told the girls he had a “special gift for Christmas.”

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

And then, the “Grinch” took off his mask…

And revealed it was their dad, home from the military!

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

The girls immediately ran over and hugged their dad in a long-overdue reunion.

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

Their father, Robert Walton, is a soldier who has been stationed in the Middle East for the past nine months. When he finally returned home to see his girls two months early—just in time for Christmas—he couldn’t help but make it a special surprise.

“This is going to be very special,” he told FOX 26 just before donning his Grinch mask and Santa suit.

“I can’t wait to surprise my girls.”

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

The surprise was a huge success. It was a plan a long time in the making, originally plotted between Robert’s wife and the festival.

“We knew he was coming home so I got in touch with the director of the Festival of Lights and they pretty much took it from there,” she explained.

“We just had to get him home and hide him.”

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

But the surprise was well worth it in the end. The two girls got a Christmas surprise they’ll never forget—one worth more than all the toys Santa could fit in his sleigh.

It made me cry,” Robert’s older daughter Hailey recalled to FOX 26. “It just hit me because he’s been gone so long.”

“It’s just the best Christmas gift.”

(FOX 5 Atlanta/Screenshot)

Watch the video below: