"We left for 12 hours, and when we came back the house had been transformed into a wonderland," says Jim. "It's not often that adults get to experience that kind of surprise." Carter's 11th-hour Christmas rescue mission proved to be more than just icing on the cake. The decorations set the scene for an extended family reunion that included Mai's parents, her three sisters and brother, and all their children.
"The holiday is really about family," Mai says. "If it hadn't been for Darryl, we wouldn't have had Christmas," she adds.