By (Kelly Ward)

DALLAS — The day after Christmas, Alabama football was back to work, this time 600 miles west of Tuscaloosa.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said he enjoyed the time he spent with his family over the holiday. He said the holiday is about giving for him, not necessarily what he gets.

“I think there’s some point in time where, as you go through the stations of life, that you look forward to Santa Claus coming and then at some point in time you become Santa Claus,” Saban said. “So I was just happy to be Santa Claus. I was just happy to see everybody and the kids, grandbaby, Miss Terry, everybody happy with the relationships, being around family, the gifts that they got.”

In case you were wondering, he was pretty pleased with some gold-toed socks he got.

The players were able to spend Christmas Day at home. Derrick Henry said he spent his break with family, though without his new Heisman Trophy in tow. Senior linebacker Reggie Ragland was able to go home before the bowl game.

“I went home and saw a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a long time,” Ragland said. “It was good being around good people and people I haven’t seen in a while. It was good to see my mom and my dad and my brothers and everybody. So I was happy I got a chance to go home before I got here.”

Now the team turns its focus to its next holiday– a New Year’s Eve semifinal that should have the team leaving AT&T Stadium in Arlington not long before the stroke of midnight, possibly entering 2016 as title contenders.

“It’s all about mindset,” Saban said. “Putting the Christmas holiday behind you, refocusing on what we need to do to invest our time in the preparation that we have, the opportunity each day in practice and in meetings to focus on that. And it’s all about how bad you want something, because it’s certainly going to be a difficult game, a tough game. And I think you have to prepare for that and have the right mindset in terms of what your expectation is when the game starts, what kind of game it’s going to be.”  

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports