But Dad arrived a little earlier than expected.
Action News was there for the emotional reunion before Daijah's gym class at Maternity BVM Elementary School in Northeast Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Once Daijah saw her daddy, he embraced him tightly and wouldn't let go for more than ten minutes.
"It feels good. I'm overwhelmed with joy and happiness because I missed her," Sgt. Fordham said.
Clifton just wrapped up his second deployment overseas.
He knew he would be home in time for Christmas, so Daijah's mom set-up this father-and-daughter reunion with school officials.
"They were all for it," La-Nae Cannon said. "They were like 'let's do it.' They called me every other day. 'Are we still on? This will be so amazing.' So they were definitely supportive and I thank them for that. I'm just so excited. It's the best Christmas present ever."
Clifton says serving his country is a real honor, but nothing compares to coming home to his loving family.
Sgt. Fordham says as far as he knows, he's not being redeployed overseas again. He says he might be home for good now.
When asked, "What's the first thing you'll be doing with Daijah?"
Fordham responded, "Anything my little girl wants."