Christmas, a birthday, and makeshift hockey: The Hanson family keeps the good times rolling
Like it is for many, Christmas is a time for family at the Hanson household.
ROCHESTER — Sometimes gliding, sometimes quasi-marching, 5-year-old Crystal Hanson was doing her best to make her new skates perform the way she wanted.
Along with her siblings, Crystal received her ice skates for Christmas. So, on Monday morning the family made their way to Allendale Park in northwest Rochester where they had the outdoor rink all to themselves.
The Christmas weekend may have ended the day before, but it was her birthday, so the family kept the fun rolling.
“Everything she does, she goes 110% in," Crystal's father, Caleb Hanson said. "It's all skates, or all dolls, or all whatever's at hand."
Caleb was wearing the same ice skates he’d had since he was a teenager himself growing up in Racine, just south of Stewartville. His wife, Emily, said they wanted to give their kids ice skates for Christmas since they were curious about the rink near their home.
Another Hanson sibling, Cherith, had a pretty good idea what was coming when the family started unwrapping their presents.
"I felt the bag, and I felt the blade in it," said 11-year-old Cherith.
The family had a bright orange disk roughly the size of a puck, but were at a loss for any hockey sticks. Making the best of the situation, the brothers found a couple of tree branches with crooks in them, making them perform somewhat like the real thing.
Josh, the girls' 13-year-old brother, hadn't been skating in a while. But, he said rollerblading helped him keep his skills sharp.
Meanwhile, the siblings’ grandparents watched the excitement from the warmth of their vehicle. They were staying a little longer than planned since their flight back to Texas was postponed.
Like it is for many, Christmas is a time for family at the Hanson household. They open presents. They read the Christmas story in the Bible. The siblings then act it out. Fifteen-year-old David said there's a feeling of gratefulness when they go to Church on the holiday.
But once Monday morning came around, they all knew where they wanted to be.
"The ice skates were the last gift for Christmas," Caleb said. "The kids couldn't wait. They went to the breakfast table today talking about getting done and going to the ice skating rink."