When a police officer was called to a burglary in which the kids' presents were stolen from under the tree, it cut him to the core - because he too has kids.
So Takanini community constable Peter McNab quietly put in place a plan to save Christmas for the family.
Counties Manukau neighbourhood policing teams are able to give presents to families in need and just before Christmas the burgled dad was surprised to open the door to two police officers, their arms full of gifts for the kids, aged 6 and 7.
"He was quite emotional," McNab said.
This week the father, who did not want to be named, said he was "grateful as".
The stolen presents were slippers, robes, waterguns and inflatable water toys.
"We were robbed a week before Christmas. They broke into the house, took food, all the kids' presents and my cologne.
"They went through the rest of the house and left a mess," he said.