It's that time of year that gets you in the mood to be jolly. The biggest of all holidays is loved by all, for many reasons. Baseball players don't feel any differently. In recent weeks, I have checked in with several Phillies players, from the bottom to the top of the system, to find out what stands out for them as reasons to get excited for Christmas.
Players that took part include Phillies rookie OF/1B Darin Ruf (pictured), lefty pitching prospect Austin Wright, former supplemental 1st round draft pick, outfielder Zach Collier, right-handed minor league pitcher David Buchanan, third base prospect Cody Asche, former top draft pick, outfielder Kelly Dugan, whose father Dennis Dugan is a film director, and, lastly, catcher Josh Ludy, who was drafted by the Phils in the 8th round this year.
Questions and answers detailing each player's holly jolly holiday favorites are ahead...
What's your favorite Christmas movie or TV special?
Darin Ruf- Elf with Will Ferrell is my favorite.
Austin Wright- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas- always liked that movie.
Zach Collier- A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite one.
David Buchanan- Favorite Christmas movie is Elf. My family watches it every year!
Cody Asche- I always spend holidays watching all of the college football bowl games. It's my favorite thing to watch on TV.
Kelly Dugan- I like Love Actually. That's a good one. And It's a Wonderful Life is a good movie too.
Josh Ludy- I really like A Christmas Story.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Collier- Luther Vandross, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Buchanan- Joy to the World by Chris Tomlin. I see him sing at church a lot and he's also my favorite Christian artist. His version of the song is amazing!
Asche- I don't really have a concrete favorite, but I do enjoy listening to Christmas music with the family.
Dugan- I like Little Drummer Boy.
Ludy- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, because it's pretty darn funny.
What food do you enjoy most at the holidays?
Wright- My aunt makes a killer Christmas cookie platter that I always look forward to.
Collier- Sweet and simple- milk and cookies.
Buchanan- Vanilla yogurt frosted pretzels! They're delicious!
Asche- My Grandma's chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies.
Dugan- I gotta go with mashed potatoes and turkey. We double down on Christmas with the Thanksgiving food.
Ludy- Sugar cream pie. Depends on the year, who makes it. But I love it.
What is your favorite Christmas gift from childhood?
Ruf- My favorite was definitely my Nintendo 64!
Wright- My dog- I got her when I was 10.
Collier- A baseball bat that was hard to afford and batting gloves!
Buchanan- Favorite gift as a toddler was a cardboard cut out of Ken Griffey Jr.
Asche- One year, I got a remote control monster truck from my grandpa. I loved that thing until I drove it down some wooden steps. It was a great gift though.
Dugan- I loved when my dad, I think he built a batting cage when I was like 12. He built me a batting cage in the back yard. That was a great Christmas present.
Ludy- I got a Red Ryder BB gun when I was six years old.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Ruf- Having dinner with my entire family is an annual event that means a lot to me.
Wright- Going to the Christmas tree lighting in the city with my family.
Collier- Going to the aunt's house with the fam and watching basketball.
Buchanan- Every year after we open presents at my Dad's we go eat breakfast at Waffle House. And at my Mom's she always has hot chocolate in the morning along with a Santa hat for me to wear, to pass out presents.
Asche- Going back to Nebraska to see all of my family that I don't see very often.
Ludy- Getting together with all the family and enjoying the time together.
Dugan- When I was a kid, my dad's friend Michael Keaton (yes, that Michael Keaton...Batman and Beetlejuice) would come over and, on Christmas Eve, he would pretend he was Santa Claus and he used to climb up on the (roof), him and his son, and they used to bang hockey sticks on the roof with bells and pretend they were landing on the roof. And my dad did it for his son and he did it for us and now we're planning on doing it for his kids' kids. So, that's a tradition that we have. We gotta keep it alive.
From PhoulBallz.com, PhilliesNation.com and all the players that took part in this survey, we wish you all the best this holiday season.
Also, check out the 2011 holiday survey and the 2010 version. Image editing by Eric Floyd.