Two Oceanside kids got a sweet surprise Monday night when their dad, a Marine Corps service member, returned home from deployment and made a cameo while they were meeting Santa.
Five-year-old Aubrey and 2-year-old Grayson were sitting on Santa’s lap at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, when dad Chad Beckerleg walked through the door.
“Who is that?” Santa asked.
“Daddy,” Aubrey replied.
The two fell into their dad’s arms, giggling, as their mom, Alyssa Beckerleg looked on. Then, Grayson tugged at his mom to join them in a family group hug.
Chad traveled 20 hours on three planes to be home for Christmas, according to a mall spokeswoman.
Mom Alyssa said the kids were “shocked, excited and were convince that he rode in on Santa’s sleigh,” the spokeswoman said.