DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Christmas came early for three girls in Livingston Parish. When they visited Santa at The Bass Pro Shop in Denham Springs, they got a big surprise.
The wonder of getting to meet the jolly old guy in the big red suit is an experience most children look forward to all year. Some of them don't know what to think of Santa Claus. Others know exactly what do to.
Kayelynn Hutchinson, 8, could not wait her turn.
Her mother Susan told Kayelynn and her sisters last week they would be making the trip to see Santa, But their dad, Private First Class Christopher Hutchinson, would not be there. He left home early in November to attend basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
"It's been very mentally draining, emotionally draining being without them," PFC Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson learned last night he would be flying home to spend Christmas with his family. He said his wife asked Santa to help surprise their daughters.
"I'm nervous. I haven't seen them in six weeks," PFC Hutchinson said.
Kayelynn and her siblings knew they weren't at the store just to see Santa. Their mother told them Jolly Old St. Nick showed up this year with a little something extra on his sleigh.
"She said we have a big surprise here. She never told us what it was. She said we could bring it inside, outside, and it's as tall as her," Kayelynn explained.
Before they knew it, it was their turn to sit on Santa's lap.
Santa asked them what they wanted for Christmas? Kayelynn told him she wanted a guitar.
Then, it was time for Santa to cue a little magic.
"Ho! Ho! Ho," Santa said.
Their surprise, PFC Hutchinson, appeared from the toyshop behind Santa's chair.
Hutchinson said he plans to spend as much time with his girls as he can before he returns to Ft. Jackson for the New Year.