ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- This story has all the elements here to really get you in the Holiday Spirit.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Corrales was going to be home for Christmas for the first time in 3 years. He's been deployed during the holidays every year since his daughter was born.
So he and his wife really wanted to do something special for the kids.
His wife took the kids meet Santa a few weeks ago, so there wouldn't be any major meltdowns.
When his plane landed Wednesday evening, he grabbed his bag and went straight to the Orange Park Mall.
They had set up this huge present for him to hide under, and then, well, Santa came through for his kids.
"You see that big present over there? I brought that just for you? You want to see what's in there? Oh my goodness, it's moving! It's your Daddy!"
His son caught on right away, but his daughter was in a little of shock. You can tell this was really a surprise for these kids, who had no idea their dad would be home for the holidays!
"It's just so hard. I'm always away for Christmas, and it's tough. So I'm just so happy to be here. It's the best feeling," said Coralles.
"It feels amazing. I am just so happy he's home for Christmas," said his wife, Priscilla.
His son's shirt said it all: "All I want for Christmas is my Daddy!"
First Coast News