SEATTLE, WA (CBS/KIRO) -- Two young daughters of a Seattle soldier got a remarkable holiday surprise today.

They asked Santa to bring Dad home from Afghanistan and then he appeared.

This is the kind of story that reminds us all of the sacrifices military families make - especially during the holidays. And that's what makes the reunion you're about to see all the sweeter.

It is rare for anyone to upstage Santa Claus. But today, at Tacoma Mall, it happened for two little girls.

Brooklyn, 9, and 8-year-old Rachael Christensen have not seen their father in nine months. He's been serving in Afghanistan.

Getting daddy home for Christmas was at the top of their wish list for Santa. So today, with a little help from their mom, Santa delivered.

First Lieutenant Jeffrey Christensen flew in last night. Because of overseas deployments, the Christensen family has been together just five of the last 26 months. He says, "When I deployed my wife and i talked about doing something special for the girls surprising them a bit i think we accomplished that mission."

A mission that had Santa happily stepping aside for someone more important.

Rosi Christensen learned just last week her husband would be home for Christmas.

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