Spoelstras Family

Written by Christian Colón

The first Christmas as a parent is always special.

But Tuesday has a little more meaning for Erik Spoelstra and his wife, Nikki. It is their first Christmas as parents, it also marks exactly nine months since their son, Santiago, was born on March 25.

Nine months the Heat coach and his wife will never forget.

“It’s been amazing from the standpoint, it was the most memorable offseason that I’ve ever had,” Spoelstra said, with the Heat having the holiday off before returning to action Wednesday against the Raptors at AmericanAirlines Arena. “Imprinted on my mind and memories and excitement and gratitude, all of that. Every other offseason has been just that, every other offseason. This one is one I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Like all new parents, the Spoelstras made the sudden and drastic transition into parenthood. The only difference is they did it with Spoelstra, 48, coaching the Heat in the middle of a playoff race in March and April.

The in-season travel and demands of Spoelstra’s job made those first few months challenging.

“We were still in the regular season, so Erik was traveling,” Nikki said. “It was a lot because you’re new at this. We’re first-time parents. No matter how many books you read, you’re still not totally prepared. You’re kind of figuring things out.

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