By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five degrees is just a measurement when you’re on the ice for the first time. Just a few hours after opening his Christmas gifts, 3-year-old Everett Smith and his family hit the outdoor rink at Groveland in St. Paul.

“Everett mentioned we got new skates, so we wanted to make sure we tested those out,” said Everett’s dad, Eric.

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A few others, like Stuart Alger, had the same idea. He bundled up, grabbed his skates and hockey stick and headed to Groveland as well. Playing hockey on Christmas Day has become somewhat of a tradition for him.

“Usually, it’s very quiet, easy to skate around and the flip the puck and get a little two-on-two game going,” he said.

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Over at Theodore Wirth Park, the trails were scattered with cross-country skiers. Heather Ganzter had her daughter, who’s on a ski team, show her the ropes.

“We opened our Christmas gifts and thought we’d ski off some of the chocolates we ate,” Ganzter said.

And about 300 truly hearty souls woke up extra early for the Christmas Day-Joyful 5K, a run sponsored by Charities Challenge. They consider their event to be the “biggest Christmas Day 5K.”

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“This is Minnesota,” said runner Shari Templeman. “Get out and run.”

Heather Brown