CRYSTAL, Minn. — Not even a pandemic can stop the magic of the holidays.
"I woke up this morning, spent some time with family. That's what we're planning to do most of the day," a man said. He and his son came out to try out the new sled that Santa had brought them at Valley Place Park Sledding Hill in Crystal.
After a long, hard year and yet another tradition pared down, he said it was nice to be outside.
"We usually do like a big 20-person get together today that was cancelled," he added.
Plus with all the loved ones crammed at home during the pandemic, all the time, any chance they could get to be outdoors is an opportunity seized.
"We get stir crazy, so it's nice when the weather is decent enough to get outside," he said. "Too blessed to be stressed to be honest."
You know who's not stressed really? The kids. Even the ones who have never seen snow before. A man said he and his family arrived from Ecuador the day the blizzard hit Minnesota.
"We arrived in Minnesota, and the snow arrived at the same time," he said. "First time my kids get to see snow. Being out here in the beautiful weather is amazing."
By this point, the coronavirus has long exited the narrative. Face coverings and social distancing were definitely happening on the sledding hill, but it's easy to socially distance when you're speeding down on a sled.
"They absolutely love it. My kid is all about the turbo and speed," the man said with a laugh.
For a while, for all the folks at the sledding hill on Christmas day, all is anything but calm. But they wouldn't have it any other way, at least not in 2020.