During baseball season, it's a good bet that reliever Todd Coffey will sprint out of the bullpen when called into a game.
During the holiday season, Coffey is just as likely to sprint to stores near his North Carolina home to get gifts to give to his family and friends. That's because few things make the right-hander happier than getting to spread some holiday cheer.
In a special Holiday Q&A with MLB.com, Coffey shared what he likes best about Christmas.
MLB.com: Without divulging what Santa might be bringing your kids, how much do you enjoy getting gifts for your little ones?
Todd Coffey: You know, I love it. For me, at Christmas, I love spending it with the family and my kids. The look on their faces is the best thing in the world. We have a tradition all the time. We always go to my mom and dad's for Christmas for gift exchanging on Christmas Eve. Then we go home and sit in front of the fireplace and we'll read Christmas stories. We put the girls to bed.
I overdo Christmas. My house looks like the Griswolds' (from "Christmas Vacation"). I overdecorate and overdo everything at Christmas, because, to me, it's the greatest time of the year.
MLB.com: Being from North Carolina, do you ever get to have a "white Christmas?"
Coffey: Oh yeah, we get snow at least one week a year. It's right around there, either the week before, the week of or the week after. It's there.
MLB.com: What kinds of gifts do you like to receive at Christmas?
Coffey: I don't want anything, honestly. I try to tell my family not to get me anything. I like to give. I like to give more than I receive. It's always been that way. I love seeing the look on someone's face. I don't like just getting a generic gift and saying, 'Oh, here you go.' I put thought into every single gift that I get for someone. I love seeing the looks on the faces of my mom and dad and my wife and kids when I get that special gift for them.
MLB.com: Do you ever get or send gifts for your teammates?
Coffey: Mostly, it's just Christmas cards. That's pretty much about it.
MLB.com: Although you're not much into receiving, was there a favorite gift you remember getting when you were young?
Coffey: When I was 13 one Christmas, Mom and Dad got me a special gift. My mom wrapped it 10 times with different colored paper so she would know if I opened it. When I did open it, it was a 1994 baseball from the World Series that wasn't (because of a work stoppage). It was a baseball made for the World Series (stamped), and it was the baseball game that wasn't. I don't know how they got it, but it's still on the mantle at my house.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite holiday movie?
Coffey: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." That's one the family likes to watch. One of my favorite movies is "A Christmas Carol," with Ebenezer Scrooge. I like the one that has Patrick Stewart playing Ebenezer Scrooge, because I'm a big "Star Trek" and Patrick Stewart fan. I love that story. It's a great story.
MLB.com: How long after Christmas ends do you start getting into baseball mode?
Coffey: I'm already in baseball mode. In December, that's when I really start hitting it hard. I go to the gym and get overly aggressive. I start throwing. It's time to get started.
MLB.com: Will Santa help bring the Reds success next season?
Coffey: Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I think we've got it. We look good on paper, but paper doesn't mean a thing. We have to get out there. We proved we could do it last year, and now we have to accept nothing less than winning next year.