PARENTS

Magical Moment Boys Are Reunited With Military Dad After Making A Wish To Santa

'I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.' 🎄❤️

23/11/2017 11:06 GMT | Updated 23/11/2017 11:40 GMT

What started out as simply a fun festive day out turned out to be a very special day for two boys, when they were unexpectedly reunited with their father who had been away in the military. 

Declan, 11, and Connor, seven, visited Drayton Manor Theme Park with their mum Abby Gibson, and grandmother, Ann Holden, on 18 November. 

Abby had secretly arranged a surprise union for her boys with their dad, Chris, who had been in the Falklands with the RAF. 

The boys told Santa they wished their dad was home for Christmas and the touching moment their wish was granted was filmed, capturing the boys’ ecstatic reaction on camera. 

The kids had no idea,” said Abby. “They knew their dad was coming home at some point in November but I never told them the exact date as I wanted it to be a surprise.”

Gough/DraytonManorThemePark

The boys’ dad has been in the RAF for 16 years. Over the past four months, he has had to miss many family milestones whilst serving, including Declan’s first day at high school, Connor’s first day at junior school and his wedding anniversary. 

“All I’ve wanted is a hug from Chris and today was the most magical experience. I couldn’t be happier for us all to be reunited once again,” said Abby. 

Speaking about the surprise for his sons, Chris said: “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I was very nervous waiting to see them; when I saw the boys in with Father Christmas my heart was racing.

“I’ve missed them so much and when Abby started crying, I started crying! It was extremely emotional and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be home.” 

Gough/DraytonManorThemePark

Talking about the plans for Christmas, the dad said: “I’m not sure when I’ll have to return to the Falklands so we’re planning to make the most of every second as a family.

“We’re going to relax in front of some classic Christmas movies, enjoy our tradition of baking cookies and mince pies on Christmas Eve and of course track Father Christmas before bed.” 

William Bryan, managing director at Drayton Manor Park commented: “We do all we can at the park to help families create fun and lasting memories.

“Throughout the season we welcome local military heroes offering free entry and we were delighted to help out on this occasion. The day was wonderful and we wish them all well for a very merry Christmas.”

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