Santa, who when he not at the North Pole looks a lot like the Cherokee County Fire Department's Tim Cavender, is taking time away from the North Pole to make a special trip to Forsyth County to see a little girl.
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga -- Beau Ballenger believes in Santa Claus.
That's why the five year old Forsyth County girl entrusted him with her most heart-felt Christmas wish.
That's when the spirit of the season came up against the harshness of the real world and that's when a Christmas dream came true.
Only the magic of Santa Claus allows the jolly old elf to be so many places and do so many things this time of year.
But on this day Santa, who when he not at the North Pole looks a lot like the Cherokee County Fire Department's Tim Cavender, is taking time away from the North Pole to make a special trip to Forsyth County to see a little girl.
"We're going to go make a little girl happy this holiday. Ho! Ho! Ho!" Santa/Cavender said as he got into a four wheeled vehicle that looked nothing like a sleigh.
It's because of a meeting he had with a Beau Bellinger, in Ball Ground of all places, a few weeks ago.
"I said, 'what would you like for Santa to bring you home for Christmas?' And I was expecting to hear maybe a doll or anything that a girl would like to have," Santa/Cavender said. "And surprisingly she turned to Santa and she said: 'Santa, i would like for you to bring my daddy home.'"
Beau's father is a Staff Sergeant serving in Afghanistan. It was a difficult wish, even for Santa.
"You hear the standard request for you know, for the train sets and the dolls," said Santa/Cavender. "But when you hear a child ask for her daddy to come back home," he said, not finishing the sentence.
But what Beau Bellinger didn't know, and what Santa soon found out, the Army was sending her daddy home for Christmas.
"I have to honestly say, this probably is the best Christmas gift I have ever given to a child," Cavender said.
As Sergeant Tim Bellinger was working his way home from the war, Santa was about to surprise his daughter Beau as she returned from school.
"Do you remember when you came to see me in ball ground?" Santa asked Beau.
We lose our innocence all too soon in our lives, but Beau still has the will to believe.
"Let's believe that we can bring your daddy home for Christmas. So I'm going to ask you to close your eyes. Keep em closed tight and think: 'I want my daddy home for Christmas.'"
And Beau responded, "I want my daddy home for Christmas."
Beau Bellinger believed in Santa Claus, believed he could make her fondest Christmas dream come true. And in the middle of a world that too often breaks promises, and hearts, Santa brought her daddy home for Christmas.