Updated: 12/25/2013 10:19 PM KSTP.com By: Josh Rosenthal
The Spaulding household already has a whole lot of stockings. The family has six kids, and according to mom Joan Spaulding, the family's Christmases are usually pretty relaxing.
"The kids usually are playing with their games and, you know, we're watching movies," she said.
But this year, the Spauldings are doing Christmas a little differently. The family restaurant - the Hideaway Coffeehouse and Winebar in Northfield - is open. They're serving free meals to anyone who wants one.
"Actually I think this is gonna be everybody's best year, I really do," Joan said. "Everybody's so excited about this."
"We like spending time together for the most part," daughter Elizabeth said, with her brother David beside her, adding an extra "for the most part."
Roughly 75 people took the Spauldings up on their offer, including Bret Lares. He didn't know if he'd end up eating a Christmas meal at all.
"Pretty awesome," he smiled. "I was like, wow!" Because when a family opens their arms to you, especially on Christmas, that means something. "Just what a warm welcome, you know? For just, a stranger off the street."
"Just makes me so proud," laughed Joan. "It just makes me so proud."
That's how a Minnesota family of eight gained a few dozen new members -- and maybe a new Christmas tradition too.
"It sounds like it's going to be a tradition from now on so that's good," said Elizabeth. "I'm excited."