PHOENIX -- Christmas is a special time of the year in the Souza household, where the focus is on family, gratitude and giving back.After a full day of workouts, D-backs outfielder Steven Souza Jr., shown above with sister, Shantelle, recently spent some time sharing his thoughts on the holidays with
PHOENIX -- Christmas is a special time of the year in the Souza household, where the focus is on family, gratitude and giving back.
After a full day of workouts, D-backs outfielder Steven Souza Jr., shown above with sister, Shantelle, recently spent some time sharing his thoughts on the holidays with MLB.com.
What's one of the family traditions you have had in your family?
It's changed over the years as we've had our own families. We used to go to my Aunt Gena's house and we'd have the same exact meal -- prime rib. We had a huge family, and the cool thing about Christmas was that everybody would get together, so I got to see everyone and hang out. It was always a lot of fun.
What's the best Christmas gift you've ever received?
My parents were really into Christmas, like the giving part of it, which was really cool. When we were younger, we would open our gifts -- normal gifts like socks, T-shirts, a toy here or there -- but then at the end my parents would have like a card and they would hand it to me and my sister. The first time they did it, we didn't know what it was. It ended up being a treasure hunt. I had to follow this treasure hunt. My dad had placed other cards around the house and at a couple of the cards there was a small gift and finally at the end of the treasure hunt was an air hockey table. I had been asking for it forever and we didn't have a whole lot of money growing up, so I didn't really expect it. My parents would always say, 'Write down what you want and then write down a couple of big things that you know you probably can't have but wish you had.' So, I wrote down 'air hockey table' for a couple of years, and then one year my dad got a promotion at work or something, and I got an air hockey table. It was cool. It was really cool.
My parents sacrificed whatever they wanted to do for themselves, for us. It meant a lot to get that air hockey table. One other year after that was a baseball bat and another year it was a glove. But the hockey table was the first one where it was like, 'Wow, this is amazing!' Obviously when my son gets older, we're going to pass on the tradition of the treasure hunt
Any other traditions at Christmas?
One of our things as a family is we love to serve our community. So we serve in the food bank and we find a way to give whether it's through our church, or directly, to help. It's a time for us to reflect on what we're thankful for. The ability to give gifts is a really special thing, and the ability to share that is a blessing.
Who does the shopping for gifts in your family?
Definitely my wife. She's the shopper because she gets the right presents. It's almost like she's literally been listening all year long and knows exactly what the person wants. It's pretty amazing how she does that.
Are you more of a last-minute shopper?
For sure. I've always been that way.
Do you guys open you gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
One present Christmas Eve night and then all of the presents Christmas morning.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.