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Bruins Talk Holiday Traditions

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – Ever see one of those radio towers with the blinking red dot on top?

Look at it long enough, and you could mistake it for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer –  just ask Boston Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer.

“We used to always go over my grandparents house, and my sisters and I always said [the red dot] was Rudolph,” Kampfer said. “So we’d sit there and be like, ‘He’s on his way, he’s coming!’

"It was fun.”

This holiday season, Kampfer and the rest of the Bruins will be able to spend this coming weekend and Monday with their families, and for most it’s the first time they’ve seen them in a while.

“I love being around my family,” Kampfer said. “That’s always the best, especially when you don’t see them as much. I saw them at Thanksgiving, but the last time I saw them before that was my Stanley Cup party. It will be nice to get a couple days to sit down with them.”

Bruins forward Brad Marchand said he enjoys spending time with his family too, especially when he visits his grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve.

“We have dinner there and my grandparents all give us a little gift and then we draw names for our cousins and we all pick a gift for one cousin and exchange gifts with them,” Marchand said. “Then we go home that night and my whole family exchanges gifts, so it’s always a lot of fun.”

Veteran goaltender Tim Thomas remembers back to his childhood days, and he said he could hardly stand the wait until December 25.

“Obviously when I was a kid it was opening up the presents and bugging my dad to open them Christmas Eve instead of Christmas,” Thomas said of his favorite holiday tradition when he was growing up.

Thomas said he enjoyed visiting relatives too, and is glad he’s able to do that this year.

“Back when I was growing up, there was some nice stuff. We’d go to one side of the family for breakfast – one side for an afternoon get together. Since I’ve been away at school and playing pro hockey, we don’t have those type of options.”

But it’s a little different for Thomas now, as his three kids will be the ones "bugging" him for some early gifts.

“I’m on the other end – the other side now and it’s nice to watch,” he said. “At the same time, it’s a delicate balance in today’s society of not making it all about the presents and trying to teach them the traditions.”

Bruins forward Gregory Campbell said that this is his favorite time of the year, and he’ll use the rare break in the schedule to spend time with his family as well.

Head Coach Claude Julien plans to spend Christmas in Boston with his family, but said he also will use it as a time to catch some rest before an intense 14-game stretch in January.

“It will be a nice quiet break and [time to] get reenergized for a busy schedule,” he said.

--- Anthony Gulizia & John Bishop


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