We know you can’t get enough of our athletes, so we asked them what they are doing over the holidays. Some of these traditions sound pretty fun – so feel free to use them as inspiration.
All our Christmas festivities happen in the morning on Christmas Day. There’s always Christmas music playing and breakfast cooking while we all sit around in the family room opening our stockings and presents. After everything is open and any new outfits have had a full fashion show we’ll eat breakfast together. It’s always the most epic spread of the year! Love this time of the year. Getting to spend quality time with family, reflect on the year, and thank God for everything He’s done for me. Always leaves me feeling grateful.
We have always opened all our gifts on Christmas morning. Now that I’m older, I try to make it to my sister’s house first to open some presents with my niece and nephew (it’s hard because they get up SO early on Christmas morning) before we all head over to my parents’ house to open presents together. Then my stepmom cooks a huge amazing feast for brunch. I have to come with a game plan so I make sure I have room for everything I want to eat!
This year my in-laws hosted a small celebration of the beginning of Hanukkah for my daughter and her cousins. Now we’re headed to Hawaii to celebrate Christmas with my family. We’ll take my daughter down to the beach to see Santa Claus ride up in a canoe, the same tradition I used to do as a kid. For New Year’s we have reggae (The Green) concert tickets.
This holiday season I’m going to my fiancé Teddy’s hometown in Newfoundland. It’s actually my first time visiting, and I’m so so excited! We will be cutting down our own Christmas tree and partaking in all the “Newfie” traditions. I’m also hoping to experience my first white Christmas!
One of my Christmas traditions is going to see the play A Christmas Carol in Costa Mesa. It has been a tradition my family did before I was born, and something I have continued on even though they are all out of the country and can’t make it. The incredible part is that the same actor has played the part of Scrooge my whole life. Last year was his final performance, so it will be different without him. He played such a big role, and I grew up with him. We both aged together. It has been a great tradition, one I hope I can continue with my future family.
The new tradition this year since dating James (Shaw) is getting a real tree. My parents have a 27-year-old fake tree that we’ve always used. So that has been new for me. I always go back to Chicago for Christmas and spend it with the family. We do Christmas dinner as “appetizers” instead of a huge dinner. It makes it more fun!
My holiday plans revolve around food and family. My family’s biggest holiday is Thanksgiving with usually 30-40 relatives. Chanukah is usually with immediate family only. The Chanukah dishes are designed to be cooked in oil to remind us of the oil that burned eight days, the miracle of Chanukah. So latkes (potato pancakes) and pan-fried fish or meats are standard for these nights. As long as we are enjoying time with family then no matter what we are doing, we are in the right place.
Kelley and Bill Kolinske
Billy’s and my favorite tradition is getting our Christmas tree! Right after Thanksgiving, we pick out a tree at a Christmas tree farm, get shakes at In-n-Out, and then watch Christmas Vacation while decorating the tree. We switch off celebrating Christmas each year either in snowy Wisconsin or sunny San Diego with our families.
Chaim Schalk and Lane Carico
Over the holidays we always make a trip back to Red Deer, Canada to see family. One main tradition is to make sure to play at the ODR (Outdoor hockey rink) in the -20 weather. Getting out there and playing hockey with the boys is one of my favorite things to do.
This Christmas, I am heading out to the desert with my husband and in-laws! We rented an Airbnb, and we’re going to ride dirt bikes. I’m hoping to start a new tradition of having a gingerbread house competition.
It’s becoming a tradition to go to Sedona as a family before Christmas! This year we were able to get up there for a quick getaway. We chilled and played cards by the fire, hit up some wine tasting, and visited a new small town called Cottonwood that was so cute and unassuming. I always look forward to getting out of the rat race and more into nature. The red rocks in Sedona never disappoint.
I’m headed back to Rochester for the holidays! I’m really excited to catch up with friends and family I haven’t seen in a while, bake some Christmas cookies, and get used to the snow again. And my parents got a puppy who I can’t wait to meet for the first time!!
I will be headed home for Christmas. There is truly nothing like a white Christmas with family in South Dakota. Usually, we get together and I switch between my mom’s or dad’s side for Christmas and Christmas Eve. We all exchange names with the siblings because there are so many of us. Then we open presents, play games, and have some appetizers and drinks all together. For New Years, Kristen and I will be flying to Doha for a King of the Court tournament that we are so excited to play in!
Christmas is similar to Thanksgiving in my family in that the immediate Nuss family joins the Caballero (my mom’s maiden name) side for a day full of family and eating. The big difference is instead of watching football on TV, we have the basketball games on in the background. The Nuss side usually ends the night with a family Pictionary game which can get pretty intense.
Janelle and Billy Allen
We usually spend Christmas in Idaho with my family. We open kids’ gifts in the morning then adults play games for big money and gift cards throughout the day. If we have snow on the ground we try to go snowmobiling, sledding, or tubing. Happy holidays!