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Remembering a very special Chiefs Christmas

Our Kristian Gumminger recalls a Chiefs Christmas unlike any other.

NFL: DEC 24 Dolphins at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Christmas is one of those holidays where everyone has a special memory. Whether it’s cutting down the family tree, watching a perfect Christmas movie, attending a child’s holiday recital or coming home from college or work to visit family, everyone has something that comes to mind when they think of Christmas.

As a Kansas City Chiefs fan since I could crawl, Christmas has been intertwined with the team for my entire life. Earlier this week, a friend asked me a question that really made me think: What is the best Chiefs Christmas gift I’ve ever received — or given?

I reflected on it for quite a while. I’ve been fortunate enough to get different sweatshirts or football cards of my favorite players — even random things like mugs or office supplies with arrowheads.

But the best one?

First, you should know that I’m the oldest of four boys — who have kept our mother extremely busy! After moving around a lot when we were younger, we all became very close with one another.

In 2014, I was in my early 20s. I was working near Memphis — and for the holidays, I took time off so that my then-fiancé and I could travel to Kansas City for a family visit. It was a long way to travel and we didn’t have much money, so such a trip wasn’t something we could do frequently — which made this particular holiday extra special to me.

On Christmas morning, I opened a small box from my fiancé. Inside was a Chiefs ticket. I was shocked — and immediately jumped around like a kid — but then there were questions. It was just one ticket, after all. Arrowhead Stadium is fun, but the thought of going alone just did not compute. Then the phone rang. It was my older brother, calling to tell me that he had also found a single Chiefs ticket under the tree.

My fiancé and my brother’s wife had been in cahoots, plotting to get both of us tickets to the Chiefs’ season finale against the then-San Diego Chargers. But then they let us in on the rest of the secret: they had also bought a ticket for our dad to attend the game with us. This was going to be special!

Then I could not contain my excitement. It was comparable to Mitch Holthus calling a game-sealing play.

But somehow, it got better.

The morning of the game, a friend on social media sent out an alert: she had four tickets (and a parking pass) to the game — and wouldn’t be able to attend because of the blistering cold. She didn’t want to see them go to waste; she was giving them away.

I jumped at the opportunity – hoping that our betrothed and my other brothers (who weren’t old enough wives or fiancés) would be able to join us. My friend happily emailed the tickets.

We had just an hour to get everyone ready and into Arrowhead before kickoff. Do you remember the scene from Home Alone where everyone is running around, trying to get to the airport before missing their flight? That was us. We were frantically looking for gloves, scarves, hats — anything that could keep us warm during a cold December game.

Once in the stadium, we learned that all seven tickets were in the same section, separated by only a few rows — another fortunate circumstance. We watched as a Chase Daniel-led Chiefs team played against a Chargers team (with everyone’s love-to-hate quarterback Philip Rivers) pushing for a playoff spot. Any time Rivers had the ball, we yelled and screamed, doing our part to aid the defense — which ended up sacking Rivers seven times. Kansas City’s Justin Houston — who was having a career year — had four of them.

It was an incredible time. The 19-7 Chiefs victory was meaningless in the team’s history — despite the win, they missed the playoffs for the only time since Andy Reid’s arrival — but to me, it meant everything. I got to experience my first Chiefs game with all my brothers and my fiancé. It was also the day when my older brother and I got to share our love of the Chiefs with our ladies — and our little brothers — making them as passionate about the team as we were.

The next game we all saw together was in January 2020. We were thrilled by the team’s amazing come-from-behind 35-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans — and we all embraced and cried together as Clark Hunt lifted the Lamar Hunt trophy for all of Kansas City.

But that first game in 2014 started it all. Being able to share it with my family is my favorite Chiefs Christmas memory.

Let’s hear about your favorite Chiefs Christmas memory in the comments below!

And from all of us at Arrowhead Pride... Merry Christmas!

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