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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Rachel Terrill, Player Engagement Insider

Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year for NFL families as they celebrate faith, family, and football!   

NFL players and their families shared pictures of their families, their homes, and their Christmas traditions with us. From these NFL families to all of you – Happy Holidays!

Tim Barnes

Barnes was signed by the Baltimore Ravens before being picked up by the St .Louis Rams in 2011. This is his sixth season with the Rams

Tim Barnes, Center for the Los Angeles Rams, enjoys Christmas mornings with his family. “When we wake up, after the kids get their stockings, we all drink hot cocoa and take turns opening gifts while watching The Christmas Story," said Barnes’ wife, Lindsay. “That movie is on all day so we just leave it on!” 

"The Barnes family would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! May you reflect upon the blessings in your lives this Christmas season, and God bless us all in the upcoming year.” 

Brandon Mebane

Mebane was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2007. He played for the Seahawks until 2015 and he currently plays for the San Diego Chargers


Brandon Mebane, nose tackle for the San Diego Chargers, loves Christmas. This family photo was shared by Mebane’s wife, Amena. The Mebanes love parenthood and they love the opportunity to teach their young children about Jesus and the joy of Christmas.

Kevin Hickman

Hickman played for the Detroit Lions from 1995-1998

NFL Legend Kevin Hickman and his family love diving into the true meaning of Christmas. The numbers hanging on their mantle represent the 24 days of acts of random kindness. “We love celebrating Christmas because it celebrates the birth of our Savior. It's also a great time to teach our children it's greater to give than receive,” said Hickman’s wife, Maria. “Our children get just three gifts representing the three gifts the wise men gave to Jesus. We also ask all extended family and friends to donate in our kids’ names rather than give them a gift. Then, they send us a letter stating what they gave. We keep all of the letters in a folder to read each year. Over the last 12 years, our kids have given a lot of gifts by giving up their gifts.” 

Jason Babin

Babin played in the NFL for twelve seasons. After being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2004, he also played for the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and the Baltimore Ravens


NFL Legend Jason Babin made a special visit to see Santa Claus this year with his wife, Sara, and their three sons. The Babin family loves Christmas and this year they celebrated early with all of the lights and fun of Las Vegas.

Deuce Lutui

Lutui played in 101 NFL games from 2006-2012 with the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Tennessee Titans

NFL Legend Deuce Lutui, his wife, Pua, and their children want to wish the extended NFL family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

Bo Schobel

Schobel played for the Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, and the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2004-2008. He was a part of the Super Bowl XLI with the Colts

NFL Legend Bo Schobel wishes you a Merry Christmas. His wife, Lyndsay, shared this collage of photos of their home filled with beautiful Christmas décor.

Julian Vandervelde

Vanderverlde played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2011-2015

Happy Holidays from NFL Legend Julian Vanderverlde, his wife, Paula, and their children.

John Carlson

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Carlson in the 2008 NFL Draft. Carlson also played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals before retiring in 2014

Happy Holidays from NFL Legend John Carlson, his wife Danielle, and their family. “We are so thankful for the NFL and the journey it took us on,” says Danielle, who shared this family Christmas photo. 

Darrell Irvin

NFL Legend Darrell Irvin played for the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks from 1980-1983

 Irvin’s wife, Sandy, shared this peaceful picture of their stockings hung by their chimney with care.

Jamar Nesbit

Nesbit played for the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the New Orleans Saints from 1999-2009

Happy Holidays from NFL Legend Jamar Nesbit. Jamar’s wife, Tara, shared these photos of their family’s gorgeous Christmas decorations. 

Robert Mathis

Mathis was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2003. He is a 6x Pro Bowl player (2008-2013), First-team All-Pro (2013) and he earned a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl XLI.  He was also AFC Defensive Player of the Year and led the NFL in sacks in 2013

This Christmas is extra special for Indianapolis Colts linebacker, Robert Mathis, his wife, Brandi, and their children. The couple just announced that they have a new baby due next year. God’s gift brightens the holiday for the Mathis family. The beautiful lights on the Mathis home help us all catch the Christmas spirit as well.

Phillip Hunt

Hunt was signed as an undrafted free agent for the Cleveland Browns in 2009 before playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and the New Orleans Saints. Hunt currently plays for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League

NFL Legend Phillip Hunt and his wife, Krystal, agree that Christmas time is their favorite time of year. “It's a time of year when togetherness is important for Phillip and me,” said Krystal. “One of our favorite family traditions is our Advent calendar. Our boys love telling the Christmas Story from the angel appearing before Mary through the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus as a count down to Christmas. It has become a meaningful yet exciting party of our Christmas tradition!” 

Chris Hope

Hope was an NFL safety from 2002-2013. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, and Atlanta Falcons, and Detroit Lions. He earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Steelers in Super Bowl XL

NFL Legend Chris Hope’s wife, Linda, shared this picture of Chris reaching to place the Christmas star atop their Christmas tree.  Their daughter was happy to help her daddy.

Happy Holidays from these and all of our NFL Families!











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