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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.

Family Skate
David Hanson, 15, left, and his siblings Nathan, 7, Cherith, 11, Josh, 13, and Crystal, 5, play with a puck while skating on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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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.

Family Skate
Crystal Hanson, 5, skates for the first time with her family on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester. Crystal is celebrating her fifth Birthday trying out skates she received for Christmas.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

“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.

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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.

Family Skate
Cherith Hanson, 11, holds hands with her dad while skating with their family on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester. The kids all got new skates for Christmas this year.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

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."

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Family Skate
Nathan Hanson, 7, uses a make-shift hockey puck he found while skating with his family on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Family Skate
Crystal Hanson, 5, skates for the first time with her family on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester. Crystal is celebrating her fifth Birthday trying out skates she received for Christmas.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Family Skate
Crystal Hanson, 5, skates for the first time with her family on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester. Crystal is celebrating her fifth Birthday trying out skates she received for Christmas.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Family Skate
Caleb Hanson gives his son Nathan, 7, a hand while learning to skate for the first time on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Family Skate
Nathan Hanson, 7, second from left, controls the puck while skating with his brother David, 15, left, dad Caleb and brother Josh, 13, on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Family Skate
The Hanson family skate on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, at Allendale Park in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Related Topics: ROCHESTERPEOPLECHRISTMAS
Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or jshearer@postbulletin.com.
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