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12/24/08 10:00 AM EST

Delcarmen keeps holidays simple

Red Sox reliever tries not to be extravagant in his gift giving

Reliever Manny Delcarmen is living a dream. The Boston native -- who grew up wanting to play for the Red Sox -- is a fixture in manager Terry Francona's bullpen. Delcarmen recently spent some time with MLB.com to discuss his fondness for the holiday season.

MLB.com: When you think back to Christmas growing up, what are your best memories?

Delcarmen: For me, I just remember my parents trying to make it as Christmas-like as possible, getting us some gifts here and there. Also, just being able to hang out with the family. It's a great time to gather and just hang out and have a great time.

Holiday Q&A width=
ARI: Conor Jackson
ATL: Blaine Boyer
BAL: Jeremy Guthrie
BOS: M. Delcarmen
CHC: Kevin Gregg
CWS: John Danks
CIN: Jay Bruce
CLE: Ryan Garko
COL: Clint Barmes
DET: Nate Robertson
FLA: Josh Johnson
HOU: Chris Sampson
KC: Trey Hillman
LAA: Ron Roenicke
LAD: Andre Ethier
MIL: Seth McClung
MIN: Joe Nathan
NYM: Mike Pelfrey
NYY: Brian Bruney
OAK: J. Duchscherer
PHI: Jimmy Rollins
PIT: Frank Coonelly
SD: Chase Headley
SF: Sergio Romo
SEA: Don Wakamatsu
STL: John Roney
TB: Grant Balfour
TEX: Ian Kinsler
TOR: Rod Barajas
WAS: Steven Shell

MLB.com: With a young son to keep you busy, how much fun is this time of year?

Delcarmen: Yeah, it's great. My son is 15 months. I always said I couldn't wait for him to start walking. Now I'd wish he'd go back to crawling! But he's keeping me busy. Chasing him around the house is a pretty good workout.

MLB.com: Does it make the holiday season more enjoyable, to see it through the eyes of your son?

Delcarmen: Definitely. Last year, he was just a little baby and couldn't really remember anything. Now, he can open up his own presents -- rip them open and stuff like that. He's a lot of work, but he's a lot of fun at the same time. Once it starts snowing, we get to throw him into the snow.

MLB.com: How much do you enjoy this time of year?

Delcarmen: It's kind of laid back. You get to go shopping with the wife and buy everybody Christmas gifts and figure out where we're going to spend New Year's. It's just laid back and I'm having fun. Like I said, it's just a great time to be with the family.

MLB.com: When you were a kid, is there one gift you remember getting?

Delcarmen: Yeah, when Nintendo first came out. We thought we weren't going to get it, and my dad, sure enough, found a way to make that our Christmas gift. That was my favorite gift growing up. I still remember playing Super Mario.

MLB.com: How much do you enjoy being in the position where you can give nice gifts to people this time of year?

Delcarmen: Yeah, it's nice, but I still keep it simple. My wife will still go out and buy gifts but I'll just buy people gift cards and say, "Here, buy whatever you want." But when it comes to my parents and close family members, I try to pick something up that they'll like and that's always fun.

MLB.com: Are you an online shopper or do you still go the stores?

Delcarmen: We go to the malls and stuff and walk around. My wife loves to go to the mall and fight all the crowds.

MLB.com: What will you do for Christmas Eve and Christmas?

Delcarmen: My wife's mom and stepdad live in Vegas, so the last four years we've been going there. My parents will be back in the Dominican. They're leaving the Sunday before Christmas. It's fun spending Christmas in Vegas. My brother-in-law flies out with us. We'll hang out, have a good dinner.

MLB.com: Are you a guy who makes New Year's resolutions?

Delcarmen: For me, all I can ask for is to stay healthy and keep supporting my wife and son. I'm working out and my brother-in-law, he trained me last year, and he's doing so again this year. He's kicking my butt. I lost a lot of weight last year trying to get in shape and now I'm just trying to maintain it. I just want to go to Spring Training and stay healthy and have a good year.

MLB.com: Do you start to miss baseball this time of year?

Delcarmen: Yeah, I'm getting antsy. A little itchy, just because I know it's around the corner. I started throwing recently. Once you start throwing, you know you're about to leave for Spring Training. It's good to feel that.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.