Pig roasts, hockey games and family: Lawmakers share their favorite Christmas traditions – LSB

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For millions of Americans, Christmas is a day to spend with family and show their loved ones how much they care, and members of Congress are no different.

“We always do the same thing. Our tradition is to celebrate Christmas Eve, so for us, it’s called Nochebuena,” Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., who is Cuban-American, told Fox News Digital. “And this is the birth of Jesus, where family, friends, etc. get together…and then we roast pigs.”

He added that the pig roast, which is done outside, comes after “hours of preparation.” Jimenez said his sons lead this delicate operation every year, adding: “They know how to do it better than I do. I just help them.”

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Carlos Jimenez

The photo shows Representative Carlos Gimenez, Republican of Florida, and his wife, Lourdes, with their dogs, Bentley, Mercedes, and Kenji. (Rep. Carlos Gimenez)

The Cuban tradition of roasting a pig on Christmas Eve even inspired Jimenez to pardon the animals when he served as mayor of Miami-Dade County.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minnesota, and his family have a sports-style approach to Christmas, going head-to-head in an annual hockey game. Emmer himself was a hockey coach and played the sport in college.

In true Minnesota fashion, a friendly competition is the No. 3 House leader’s favorite Christmas tradition, and it even comes with an MVP trophy at the end.

What makes it even more special this year is that Emer’s grandson is getting his first pair of skates, Fox News Digital was told.

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House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s favorite Christmas tradition is the family hockey game. (Valerie Blish/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Ashley Hinson, Republican of Iowa, said her favorite part of Christmas is making her home celebrate.

“I love decorating for the holidays. I start decorating for Christmas when people leave my house for Thanksgiving,” she told Fox News Digital. “Fun fact: I have a huge nutcracker collection that my mom passed down to me. I added a Sugar Plum Fairy this year.”

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For Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hearn, R-Oklahoma, the best Christmas tradition is simply spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Representative Ashley Hinson decorates her home with a Nutcracker collection she inherited from her mother. (Rep. Ashley Hinson)

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Likewise, Rep. Greg Pence, R-Indiana, brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, described family time as his favorite Christmas tradition.

“Me, my brothers, and my nephews go out to dinner [Dec. 21] Every year, Pence told Fox News Digital.

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