Little Joie was one of 23 students in Mrs. Garay's kindergarten class who released their letters to Santa into the sky after attaching them to red and green balloons.
But the five-year-old's red balloon clearly had a mind of its own, because it soon broke away from the others, and drifted towards downtown San Diego.
That's where it was spotted by Terry Hardin as he was leaving work last Tuesday.
The balloon appeared to be targeting Hardin as it slowly made its way down to the ground.
Hardin grabbed it, and noticed it had a note attached: "Dear Santa," Joie wrote. "I would like to have a mermaid doll with a bow for Christmas. Thank you, Love Joie."
A chill ran down Hardin's spine: His mother, who passed away last year, was also named Joie.
Hardin took it as a clear sign.
He turned to Facebook for help tracking down the wayward balloon's owner, and soon traced it back to the St. Rose of Lima School in Chula Vista.
And here's your happing ending: Hardin bought Joie that mermaid doll she asked for, and delivered it to her himself.