SAN DIEGO -- Amid the bustle of his first Winter Meetings with the Giants, new manager Gabe Kapler took a few minutes to discuss his favorite holiday traditions, the best present he ever received and his view on New Year’s resolutions. (The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.)
MLB.com: What did the holidays look like in your household when you were growing up? Do you have any favorite recollections or traditions that you did with your family?
Kapler: I think Thanksgiving probably stands out as my favorite holiday, by far. It just kind of represents indulgence. Me and my brother are both often pretty strict eaters. Oftentimes, we've gone two or three weeks at a time eating on a really strict schedule and kind of not going after it. On Thanksgiving, a tradition that he and I have is just to eat a lot of whatever we want to eat, starting in the morning with like donuts and then drinking whatever we want to drink. I guess I think it just represents celebration and a time to be together with family.
MLB.com: What did you indulge in this year?
Kapler: Ice cream.
MLB.com: What flavor?
Kapler: We had our traditional Thanksgiving interactions, and then, myself, my older son [Chase], my brother Jeremy and his son Everett all went to an ice cream shop, but the ice cream shop was closed, so we ended up at 7-Eleven. We bought like eight different flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. We just put it all out on the table and ate whatever flavors we wanted. I'd say Half Baked is probably my favorite of those.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite present that you received during the holidays as a child?
Kapler: I think I got a dirt bike -- like a pedal dirt bike, so not a motorized one. It was a blue Rampar. This is probably when I was 6 or 7 years old. I was on that bike all day in my neighborhood as a kid. I used it as a real mode of transportation, not just to ride the bike. So out all day during the summers and back home late, mostly on that bike.
MLB.com: Have your traditions changed now that you have kids? How do you plan to spend the next two weeks heading into the New Year?
Kapler: Well, my kids are now 20 and 18 years old. My older son, Chase, is at UCLA and my younger son, [Dane], is in his senior year [of high school], really focused on college. It's mostly going to be shorter interactions than they normally are because we're kind of in separate places, but we’ll find time to connect and have good conversation. The spirit of the holidays for us is good and healthy conversations.
MLB.com: Is Hanukkah big for you guys? Do you celebrate Christmas, or do you have your own traditions?
Kapler: We celebrated Hanukkah in my house growing up. We also celebrated Christmas in my house growing up, and at an earlier time. When we were all together as a family, we celebrated both. So yeah, not one or the other.
MLB.com: Do you make New Year's resolutions?
Kapler: No, I think I try to keep and maintain goals and vision throughout the year. I don’t try to allocate one specific day for that.