This boy’s Christmas is about to be much more merry and bright.
Dillon Workman, 12, had no idea Santa was about to give him the best gift of all. His mom, Julie Workman, a petty officer in the Navy, surprised him home from deployment.
“I’ve been stateside since early November, but I didn’t know when I was getting to actually come back to Ohio,” Workman, of Cleveland, told ABC News. “I found out Monday and flew home Tuesday. He knew I was in Virginia, but had no clue when I’d be home.”
She’s been deployed in Bahrain as a reservist since January and knew she wanted to do something special for her son once she got home. After chatting with her sister-in-law, Jessica, who works at SouthPark Mall in Strongsville, where the surprise took place, and Dillon's dad, Robert, they came up with the perfect plan to incorporate Santa in the big reveal.
Workman said she was really anxious and excited to surprise Dillon.
“I was nervous. My palms were sweating, my stomach was all tight and I was waiting for the right moment,” she said. “When my cousin saw Dillon get up on Santa’s knee, he waved for me to come out. I didn’t know why I was so anxious because this is my son. I was just so excited to see him.”
Dillon was overwhelmed at the sight of his mom, thrilled to have her home.
“He was shocked. His jaw dropped and he didn’t know what to do,” said the proud Workman. “When he jumped up and hugged me, he asked, ‘Where did you come from?’ He wouldn’t stop hugging me.”
Now the mother-son duo are looking forward to spending a very merry Christmas together, although she’s not quite what their plans are for the holiday just yet.
“We haven’t planned anything out yet because I’ve been so busy since getting back,” she said. “You miss a year and you’re crazy getting back to what everyone does on a daily basis. It’s exciting just to be able to get back into the swing of things. I’m excited to wake up and take him to school and can’t wait for him to get off the bus at the end of the day, and take him to basketball and play with the dogs and do normal things again.”
Editor’s note: This article was amended after publication to correct the spelling of Dillon Workman. The original article had incorrectly reported it as Dylan Workman.