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The holidays can be bittersweet for parents and children that don’t get to see each other.

As was the case for the Welch family, whose son, Joshua, is in the military. Thinking that their son wouldn’t be home for the holidays, Joshua’s brother, James, shares the story of how he and his brother decided to change that.

James tells Liftbump:

“After a little bit of Christmas magic we were able to make this happen to everyone’s surprise.”

The brothers hatched a plan to give their parents, Brandi and Michael, the perfect gift. And thankfully, James captured the beautiful moment as it unfolded.

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After opening presents with his family, James told his parents they had one last gift to open, but it was too big for James to carry alone; he needed their help getting it from the car.

James, with camera in hand, insisted on taking photos of the moment.

“They don't know what's going on at this point other than their present is in the trunk.”

Suddenly— Joshua jumps out of the trunk of the car!

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His mother is in stunned disbelief — and her expression is priceless.

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Even Dad looks like he's trying to catch his breath.

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There are no words that can describe the love in this photo.

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Joshua and James pulled it off to give their parents the best present their family could have asked for.

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The surprises didn't stop there, either. Joshua had his wife and three children to surprise, too.

James says of the experience:

“I love my brother and I am grateful for his service. To be able to make this happen meant the world to me.”

The Welch's story reminds us that being with family is the best gift one can receive, and when it's the return of our loved ones in uniform to their families, it truly makes for the best gifts of all.