I start wondering what I’m going to do for Christmas presents in August. I really do. Starting this process in August makes September, October, November and December a whole lot less stressful.
What? You do this too? Glad I’m not the only one.
Hockey’s famed Winter Classic was being held in Washington DC this year and since the family is such hockey fans, I decided that’s what I would do as gifts for all of us. I’ve been told that gifts of life experience is better than a say – a cheap toy that will break easily or an ugly Christmas sweater.
I had no idea what it took to get tickets. I almost had to sell the boy to get them but I was successful and the boy is safe and sound.
The Washington Capitals were to play the Chicago Blackhawks at National Stadium, where the Nationals baseball team play. It was to be outside and to make the experience really authentic, snow was trucked in from somewhere (probably Boston – the weather has not been kind of those poor Bostonians this year). An outdoor rink was set up outside and hockey was going to get back to its roots.
Look at this guy’s face. Ow.
I didn’t know – I really didn’t – what a big deal this game was. It’s the hockey version of the Super Bowl. The pageantry was amazing, the atmosphere was electric and I was truly amazed. I found myself grateful that I didn’t just ugly Christmas sweaters for the family. This was much more fun.
This lady was a part of Billy Idol’s entourage. She looked so chic in her boots and gray shawl and everyone else was dressed in red white and blue stripes.
The rest of us was dressed to the nines in hockey gear. I of course, am practical and since I didn’t have a warm coat with Capitals logos all over it, I put on my purple coat. I was literally the only one without a hockey jersey on in the entire stadium of 40,000 people. Oh well.
The weather by the way was perfect. It was 44 degrees and everyone was warm and excited.
Every seat had a Winter Classic cushion. It was really neat and in an event where hot chocolate is $10, I was glad to have something for free.
I had to sweet talk a stadium guard to let me close to the announcers so I can take a photo. These are the hockey equivalent of Bob Costas, Al Michaels and Howard Cosell.
They’re not household names but they are stars in their own right. Everyone, but me, seems to know who they are.
The Washington Capitals were dressed like Where’s Waldo. Their uniforms were . . . well, you decide.
They are cute in a way though – the socks . . .I guess if you’re a big hockey player you can wear anything you want right?
There’s the Great 8, Alex Ovechkin and somehow he managed to pull off the striped socks.
Billy Idol was the entertainment during the first intermission. I’m sure he hasn’t played a crowd this big in 25 years. I recognize his shocking white hair anywhere. There something about old rockers –
He’s almost 160 years old I think –
Everyone remember Rebel Yell right? I was singing along and half way through the song, I wondered what the words really were. I stopped singing thinking that I was singing questionable lyrics and didn’t know it for almost 30 years.
Then Billy Idol broke out into White Wedding and I really started to wonder about the lyrics.
But he was a fantastic entertainment. Gavin DeGraw sang during the second intermission and you know what? I missed the entire thing and half of the second period because I was in line for a $20 hamburger.
But I didn’t miss this! It was the Army Choir and they made my heart swell with patriotism.
They were fantastic.
I was so enthralled by the pageantry and the entertainment that I almost forgot about the game.
The Capitals won! It was an exciting finish.
I love it when they give each other bro hugs. It shows so much teamwork and the triumph of victory!
So much love – that’s what hockey is all about right? Right?
I had to finally post this because it truly was an exciting event for the family.
Thanks for reading. Is it too early to wonder what to get for Christmas this year?