BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Virginia boy was ecstatic to have Santa Claus reading a story to his class at Widewater Elementary School last week, but his excitement only increased when he learned that the jolly, bearded figure was actually his dad, home early from a deployment.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Marine Staff Sgt. David Rescott had been deployed to Kuwait since Easter.

Jackson Rescott, 6, had been telling his teacher and his mother that he wanted to see his dad for Christmas, even though he wasn’t scheduled to return until January.

At least, not originally. The family had been planning the classroom surprise since October, when they found out David would be coming home a few weeks early.

David masked his voice as he read the book, his son sitting just feet away from him on the floor.

Eventually, the teacher helped David reveal himself to the class, as Jackson stared in disbelief at Father Christmas pulling off his hat, wig, beard and eyebrows to become just “dad.”

Watch the sweet moment above.

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