The excitement of Christmas extends beyond giving and receiving gifts – it’s a time for enjoying good food and great company, creating new memories with the ones we love the most. For many Dynamo and Dash players, there is special emphasis on spending time with loved ones. We caught up with a few players from both teams as they answered the question “What’s so special about Christmas?”
For many players, delicious food is an essential part of the holidays. What‘s a holiday party without great food?
“Christmas is special because it’s the one time of year when all my family is able to spend time together and eat good food,” Dash forward Nichelle Prince said.
Dynamo Homegrown midfielder Memo Rodriguez agreed, especially the traditional Mexican dishes on the holiday menu: “My grandma and my mom make some tamales or menudo during Christmas and that’s the best part of Christmas for me.”
Overwhelmingly, however, the best part of Christmas for Dash and Dynamo players alike is spending time with family. As Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza points out, the life of a professional athlete is spent with long stretches of time away from home and that Christmas is an opportunity to make up for lost time.
“Christmastime is about being around your family,” DeLaGarza said. “I don’t really get to see my parents and extended family too often, so during the Christmas holidays, my wife and I and our daughter like to go home and spend that time with our family and just enjoy the company.”
With multiple international players on both teams, home for some can be a little further away.
“Sometimes you spend the majority of the year away from your family and we always look forward to December so we can catch up,” Dynamo forward Ronaldo Peña “For me, Christmas is special because … due to soccer I am away from them for so long, so I really enjoy the time I spend at home [in Venezuela].”
Dash forward Kyah Simon echoed the sentiment, adding, “The most special thing about Christmas is spending it with family [in Australia]. I rarely get to see them throughout the year, so it’s the one time we can all get together and have fun.”
While Christmas for many players is about living in the moment and enjoying the present, it also brings an excitement and hopefulness for the future. As Dash defender Amber Brooks explains: “[Christmas] has been a lot of fun lately because my little nieces and nephews love it, they are obsessed with Santa and it just kind of makes Christmas fun again when you’ve got little ones who are all caught up in the magic of it.”
Whether they’re celebrating in Houston, Australia, Honduras or elsewhere, Dash and Dynamo players are looking forward to quality time with the ones they love, recharging for a new campaign in 2019.