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For Tribe coach Callaway, family central at holidays

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway is entering his second season in Cleveland, and he might enter it in the new RV he got for Christmas. It's always a big family affair this time of year for the Callaways in Memphis, Tenn. He snuck away from all his relatives for a few minutes to answer some holiday-themed questions from What are your plans for the holidays this year?

Callaway: All of my family lives here. My brother, my sister, and their families, and my parents, we all live within about a mile of each other. My grandparents, everybody has lived here. So we just hang out all throughout the holidays and spend time together. Does your family have some traditions?

Callaway: In the past, we always went and celebrated with my whole family on Christmas Eve. We'd open presents from each other and then we'd all go home and open presents Christmas morning from Santa, and from our parents. That's what we've always done. We'd always have about 25 people at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We'd always go to both of my grandparents' houses on Christmas Eve. Now, we do the same thing, but my kids go to my parents' house. It's probably both good and bad to have so much family so close.

Callaway: [laughing] Yeah, exactly. It's like the Barones from "Everybody loves Raymond." What's Memphis like around Christmas? Do you get snow once in a while?

Callaway: We get snow maybe once every three or four years. Most of the time, if we get something, it's an ice storm, and those are no fun. We don't get much snow. So you don't really get a white Christmas?

Callaway: No, I can't remember the last time we had a white Christmas. If we get any snow, it'll be right when we're leaving for Spring Training, it seems like. Do you do much decorating at your house?

Callaway: Sometimes, sometimes not. It depends on how busy we've been. I remember one year, when I was playing in Asia, we never took our stuff down. We ended up leaving around January for Spring Training and then we just left it up, and we didn't get home until around Thanksgiving. So we just left it up all year. Did your family decorate much when you were a kid?

Callaway: Yeah. We always had candy canes lining the sidewalk and we put lights up. I always liked the old, big-bulb, multi-colored Christmas lights. My mom's a big decorator, so she always has the house decorated. And most of my family collects these Charles Dickens ceramic little houses and towns. So we all do that. That's always a gift every Christmas in my family. And a decade later you have an entire village?

Callaway: [laughing] Yeah, and then it's too much of a hassle to even put it out. What about the Christmas tree? Does your family go fake, or do you get the real deal?

Callaway: We go fake. We've gone fake the last couple years. We went real before we had kids [two daughters], but it's easier to go fake now. Ours is pre-lit and everything. Is there one present you received as a kid that really stands out for you to this day?

Callaway: I got this Cowboys football helmet when I was a little kid. I remember that being like the best present I ever got. It was from my parents, or maybe it was from Santa. I'm sure Browns fans back in Cleveland will enjoy hearing about that one. How long did you believe in Santa, or do you remember when you started to think Santa might not be real?

Callaway: I was about 8. I can't remember exactly, but it was around then. Third or fourth grade, maybe. I heard everybody talking about it at school. Santa is real, so I don't know what you're talking about. How many of his reindeer can you name?

Callaway: Rudolph. Donner. Blitzen. Cupid. Comet. What is that, five? That might be all of them. Four and then Rudolph leading them. Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

Callaway: "White Christmas," by Bing Crosby. I always liked that movie, too. That's one of my favorite Christmas movies. How good would you say you are at wrapping presents?

Callaway: I'm pretty good. My mom worked at a gift shop when I was little, so she was really good at it. I think I got it from her. How would your family rate your gift-giving skills?

Callaway: Mediocre. I tend to fall back on gift cards now. Do you have anything in particular on your list this year?

Callaway: I think I already got it. I bought a new RV, a big camper. So I think I'm done. But I always like hunting gear. How big is this camper?

Callaway: It's 36 feet. It's a big one. If I can find a good campground in Cleveland, I might bring it up there and live in it.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.

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