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Holidays with Hockey Players: Christmas Away from Home

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Holidays as a hockey player can be tough as many of those special days are spent far away from home and family, but for Iowa Wild player Mason Shaw his family brought Christmas to him.

The team had about three days off for Christmas, which was not enough time for Mason to make it home to Canada.

“When you get into hockey you spend most of your years like this. So from a young age it’s in one place or another. So this isn’t really that abnormal for us,” Aaron Shaw, Mason’s dad, said.

So the Shaws packed up the car full of Christmas goodies and even a tree and made the roughly 20 hour trek to Des Moines.

“Me and Carson just had a little tree set up, he’s my roommate. Then mom said she was bringing one down, she called it a small one, but compared to ours it was quite a bit bigger. She brought some decorations and made it feel kind of like home,” Mason Shaw said.

Lindsay Shaw, Mason’s mom, said the most important part of a holiday is spending time together no matter what city they’re in.

“We’ve had a good meal together, spent a lot of time. Lots of times when we see him on the road, we might just meet after the game for a meal or something to eat, but it’s been really nice to spend a little bit more time with him this trip,” Lindsay said.

Even though they are far from home they hold their Christmas traditions close to their hearts.

“For years we used to do, well, Aaron used to do an outdoor rink in the backyard. We’d have everybody over Christmas Eve and that was always a good time and everybody seemed to like that. Mason spent hours on that rink,” Lindsay said.

From backyard rinks to big arenas, Mason said his family has always been his biggest fans.

“You know my parents have been my biggest support and the reason where I am today. So I give a lot of credit to them because without them, I am not here. I am proud of where I am at, but there’s more to go and kind of as a family we all enjoy the success,” Mason said.

Mason said he’s glad his parents celebrated the holiday with him and also got to catch a couple of games at Wells Fargo Arena, including Wednesday at 6 p.m. against the Rockford IceHogs.