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Q&A: Doolittle dishes on holiday traditions

Nats closer, wife to celebrate marriage in January with family after eloping in October
December 21, 2017

WASHINGTON -- Sean Doolittle quickly settled in as a fan favorite after he was traded to Washington during the middle of this past season. That was in large part because of his role in helping save a flawed bullpen, but Nationals fans also quickly took to Doolittle's personality and began

WASHINGTON -- Sean Doolittle quickly settled in as a fan favorite after he was traded to Washington during the middle of this past season. That was in large part because of his role in helping save a flawed bullpen, but Nationals fans also quickly took to Doolittle's personality and began chanting "Dooooo" during his save situations in the ninth inning.
This is Doolittle's first offseason with the Nats, and it's also the first winter as a married couple for Doolittle and his new wife, Eireann, after the couple eloped on an off-day before the postseason. They have been busy planning a reception in January for their families after the couple skipped out on a large, traditional wedding.
But Doolittle took some time to chat with MLB.com to talk about the holidays and some of his family's plans:
MLB.com: This is your first offseason since you got married. What has that been like, and what are the holiday plans like with you and your wife?
Doolittle: It's been great so far. First time doing Thanksgiving, first time doing Christmas as a married couple, it's pretty special. We've done it before, because we've done it for so long, but it's a little more special now that we're married. We don't really have any big plans for Christmas because we've been planning a traditional wedding ceremony and reception for the middle of January. A lot of our time and energy so far this offseason has gone toward the finishing touches on that. And I think all my family is kind of not really traveling during the holidays so they can travel to Chicago for that so we can celebrate together as a family. In years past, both Eireann and I come from big families so the holidays can get pretty hectic. This year is going to be a lot more low-key, but we're still looking forward to celebrating with everybody in January.
MLB.com: What was Christmas like growing up in the Doolittle household?
Doolittle: It was awesome. My mom, she would go all out with the Christmas decorations around the house and stuff and it was always really special. A lot of family, my family's kind of scattered up and down the East Coast, but everybody would either come to our house or my grandparents' house in Virginia.
MLB.com: Best present you have ever received?
Doolittle: Oh my gosh, best present I ever got -- I guess it's good, I guess I got a lot of good presents as a kid that not one really stands out. Nintendo was probably a really big one, the first video game console that we ever got. I would say that, I was fortunate. I did alright.
MLB.com: Any present you've really enjoyed giving?
Doolittle: In 2012, I gave my grandfather my first career save, I got the ball from my first career save. It was against the Yankees in 2012, and his whole life he was a huge Yankees fan. My mom's whole side of the family, they're from North Jersey so they all grew up being Yankees fans. So to get that and give to him, it was kind of cool because growing up when I was a kid, if I hit a home run or had a good game, he would get the ball from the game and write some stuff on it, like the date, score, stuff like that. So for me I got the ball, wrote the score and the date and all that stuff and gave it to him for Christmas. It was pretty cool. Not just because it was my first save, but with it being against the Yankees, it kind of tied it together and it was pretty special.
MLB.com: And did he still have the other balls too?
Doolittle: Oh yeah, because one of my uncles played in college, he was at JMU [James Madison University] when they went to the College World Series in the early '80s, and there's so much baseball stuff in their house. Stuff from me and my brother when we were growing up and they came to almost every home game when I was at [University of Virginia]. They'd drive over, like an hour and a half, so they came to most of the games. Baseball's in their blood, so it was special to kind of share that with him.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?
Doolittle: "Home Alone."
MLB.com: Favorite Christmas song?
Doolittle: I'm not a big Christmas song guy.
MLB.com: Have you been able to spend much time in D.C.? I know you were looking forward to getting to explore the city a little bit.
Doolittle: Love it. Really cool city. It was cool, we've done a bunch of the museums and stuff, but getting out into the city and going to some different restaurants and parks, taking the dogs to some excursions over the city has been fun. We really like it a lot.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.