FLORIDA – When a family learned their dad was about to be deployed overseas, the decided to cram every holiday he would miss into a single weekend.
“It was an amazing weekend and it all went perfectly,” 15-year-old Olivia Clendennin told BuzzFeed.
Olivia’s dad, Al, was set to get deployed for 100 days, spanning the holiday season. Heartbroken that he wouldn’t be around to celebrate with them, the family staged four events in a single weekend.
They kicked things off with Halloween. While their dad was out of the house, Olivia and her siblings decorated the house for Halloween. They donned homemade costumes and surprised their dad when he came home, along with some help from their grandparents.
Keeping with tradition, the family watched a scary movie and indulged in greasy food.
Next, they celebrated their dad’s December birthday, gifting him a MacBook so they could keep in close touch while he was overseas.
“With technology, it won’t feel like he’s that far away,” Olivia told BuzzFeed.
On Sunday, the family transformed the house into Christmas morning, decorating the living room with a tiny Christmas tree. They even wrapped gifts for their dad.
Their mom made their traditional Christmas morning breakfast and watched as their dad opened his gifts.
The family ended the crazy weekend with Thanksgiving dinner, complete with a Turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.
“My dad had an amazing time. He was really grateful for everything we did for him,” said Olivia.
Olivia tweeted out photos of the exciting weekend after her dad left for his deployment. So far, they have been retweeted more than 329,000 times.
Olivia told ABC News that she hopes the memories sustain her dad until he returns from deployment in a few months.