By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
It had been a good while since I cried.
But a few tears came to my eyes this Christmas Eve.
I was not sad, but I was flooded with emotion. But I did not let my tears spill out.
Only a few tears escaped my eyes as I concealed my emotion from my wife and mom.
My 2-year-old daughter would not have understood why I was crying.
I’m not sure I do.
I’m also not sure why I felt the need to hide my emotion.
After all, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led forces in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, once said, “Frankly, any man who doesn’t cry scares me a little bit.”
So if “Stormin’ Norman” cried why should I be embarrassed? I guess it’s only human to be embarrassed about crying in public, especially for men.
I was hit with the emotion on Christmas Eve when it was time for my wife and me to put our 2-year-old daughter to bed because Santa Claus was getting close to our house.
The three of us along with my mom had just finished reading the “The Night Before Christmas.”
It was not the reading of the classic story that made tears well in my eyes.
But as I closed the book, I picked up my daughter and carried her to the kitchen so we could leave a cookie, a glass of milk and reindeer food out for Santa.
This brought tears to my eyes.
Maybe I cried because I was nostalgic. Leaving snacks for Santa as a child was a magical experience, especially when I woke up to find the food gone.
Maybe I cried because my mom was watching me do what she and my dad used to do for me.
Maybe I cried because my dad is no longer here.
Maybe it was being around the wonder of a child on Christmas Eve that made me cry.
Maybe I cried because I realized how much I have to be grateful for.
I am glad I cried at this moment because it made it all the more memorable. The holidays certainly bring a wide range of emotions, not just the jolly ones.
I secretly wiped away the tears and tried to make my voice sound normal as I talked to my wife and mom. I don’t know if they knew I cried. Now they do, and that’s OK.
I just hope Santa enjoyed the milk and cookies because I consider the tears a gift.