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Holidays full of great memories for Furbush

Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush has spent this offseason in Seattle, working out and rehabbing from shoulder problems that put him on the disabled list the last three months of the season. He says all is going well, and after a quick Christmas trip home to South Portland, Maine, he'll return to Seattle and start throwing again for the first time on New Year's Eve.

For the 29-year-old lefty, the chance to begin ramping up for Spring Training will be a perfect start to 2016. But first, he took time to share his thoughts on the holiday season and his memories growing up with two brothers, Jon and Will. What's your favorite thing about the Christmas holidays?

Furbush: Being a baseball player and traveling a lot, for me, it's being able to spend the holidays with family and friends. That's where it all started for me, so it's great to get back home. What were some of your family holiday traditions?

Furbush: When Santa Claus arrived, it was the greatest day ever as kids, of course. And we always did a Yankee (white elephant) gift swap with family, and you never know what kind of gifts you'll get in those. I also remember anytime there was snow outside, my brothers and I would make snow forts and have an absolutely great day, after my parents had made us shovel the driveway, anyway. Now that you're staying in the Pacific Northwest in the offseason, what's different about Seattle at Christmastime?

Furbush: I'm amazed by how many Christmas lights are everywhere. All throughout town and at the Seattle Center, there's a lot of stuff going on. It makes it feel real festive, even though there's no snow around like we get back home, which I'm kind of glad about. And seeing all the Seahawks gear and Christmas cheer, it's made it a good holiday season all around. Are you an online shopper or a store shopper?

Furbush: Times have changed. I'm probably 80 percent online now, and 20 percent I like to go out and get a few things. But it can get a little hectic. What's the favorite gift you remember getting as a kid?

Furbush: I was thrilled when the ricochet remote control car came out. It would never stop moving. The way it was built, it could flip and keep driving upside down. I saw a commercial and was hooked. When I finally got it, I played with that thing until, well, until I broke it. We also had one year when my brothers and I all got those Furby things. We thought it was so cool that it was named after us. The thing was, it wouldn't stop talking. It just got to the point it was so annoying we had to remove the batteries. Hopefully that's not a resemblance of myself. How about as a grown-up, anything on your wish list this year?

Furbush: There's actually a thing I just found out about, Zepp Golf, this tiny little watch device that attaches to the back of your club to analyze how bad a golfer you are. It gives me something to look forward to, My older brother [Jon, the head basketball coach at Bates College] has had three holes-in-one. I have to step up my game if I'm going to play against him the rest of my life. Now that Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has traded a bunch of your bullpen buddies, are you going to have to send Christmas cards this year?

Furbush: Christmas cards are actually a good way to do it. We should make up cards that say, "Welcome to Seattle!" I'm definitely looking forward to meeting some of the new guys. A couple of them I already know. It should be a lot of fun this spring. Favorite holiday movie?

Furbush: "Home Alone," 1 and 2. The third I don't think counts since Macaulay Culkin left. Favorite Christmas song?

Furbush: "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." That was one I remember and memorized. I think my mom was always putting on Bing Crosby. Or maybe it was Frank Sinatra. Favorite reindeer?

Furbush: My heart wants to say Rudolph. The better question would be if I could name all the reindeer. I'm not sure, so I'll stick with Rudolph. If you had a Christmas wish for Mariners fans, what would it be?

Furbush: I wish all of them a happy holiday and New Year, and that we're looking forward to just an outstanding, stellar season in 2016. And I hope they can come and enjoy as many games as they can with us.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.
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