Christmas is 'pinnacle of the year' for Wright family
Mets third baseman, oldest of four boys, always full of holiday spirit
NEW YORK -- He plans to wake up early on Christmas morning when his youngest brother, Daniel, bursts into his bedroom. He frets about what gifts to buy his brothers and parents. He fashions himself a wannabe surfer.
He is David Wright, worth $138 million over the next eight seasons, and he is a holiday fanatic. MLB.com recently caught up with the lifetime Met to discuss all things Christmas:
MLB.com: What is a typical Christmas like for you and your family?
Wright: I have three younger brothers, so Christmas is, at least for me -- and I think that my family would agree -- kind of the pinnacle of the year growing up. We would wake up as early as our parents would let us on Christmas morning, and then it would just be a mad dash to the Christmas tree, and basically bedlam.
MLB.com: Sounds like a lot of pushing and shoving.
Wright: No, we got along. It's just, from what I understand, a lot of other families have a little order to the chaos -- whether you take turns opening gifts or you pass out the gifts that you got each other. Not my family. My family, it was how fast you could open the presents. You had no idea who they're from. You're just going gift to gift, more like a race than actually being able to sit back and take your time. I think that's where I probably learned my impatience.
MLB.com: So it's all over in five minutes?
Wright: Oh yeah, no question.
MLB.com: And who usually won the race?
Wright: I'm as guilty as anybody. I would try to fly through it and open them as quickly as I could. But as I've gotten older, I think I've done a better job of taking my time and enjoying giving the gifts rather than getting them.
MLB.com: Wait, so this still goes on today?
Wright: Oh God, yeah. My youngest brother is 21, and he still wants to get up at 6 a.m. to go open gifts. The rest of us, we have to negotiate with him, and usually we get it to around 8 o'clock or so. The excitement is still there, and I'd be lying if I wasn't saying I'd be excited every Christmas morning. You get excited on Christmas Eve. It's tough to sleep that night. And Christmas is real special because I don't get a chance to see my younger brothers all that often all in one place. This is one of the few times of the year that everybody gets together in the same place.
MLB.com: Your youngest brother still wakes you up on Christmas morning?
Wright: Growing up, it used to be my dad that would come and wake us up. With all my brothers home, the night before, we'll have dinner, go to a movie or something, then come back and play cards. I'll usually stay over my parents' that night and sleep in one of the guest rooms. The way they do it now, they open the door in the morning and let the dogs jump all over me.
MLB.com: What's the best gift you ever received as a kid?
Wright: I grew up in Virginia Beach and my friends and I used to always go to the beach. So I would say at one point growing up, I was a wannabe boogie boarder, the surfer type. I remember getting a boogie board one year for Christmas and it was awesome. I would bring it out to the beach with my friends and try to fit in, try my best to act like I knew what I was doing.
MLB.com: Did you try it in the ocean on Christmas Day?
Wright: Oh God, no.
MLB.com: I hear the water's cold in December. What's the best gift you've ever given someone?
Wright: That's a good question. I think all my gifts are good. I take a lot of pride in it, although this year I'm kind of waiting until the last minute. But I take a lot of pride in my gift-buying abilities. I know there's a lot of pressure with my brothers, because they're not easy to buy for.
MLB.com: You just signed a new contract for a whole bunch of money. Are people expecting more expensive gifts this year?
Wright: (Laughing) Yeah, I think the bar's kind of set a little higher now, especially from my brothers' perspective. My parents don't care, they're very easy-going people. My brothers, I think the expectations are pretty high.
MLB.com: How does the rest of Christmas Day unfold for the Wrights?
Wright: For the most part, the relatives come to us. I have a grandfather in the area, and then my mom's brother's family is in the area, so they usually swing by on Christmas. We'll just kind of hang out and watch basketball, and that's about the extent of it. Like I said, Christmas morning, the festivities last about five minutes. Then you're sitting around trying to build what you got, or work what you got, or install what you got. But I'm getting to the point now where you just get ties and socks for Christmas. It's a great morning, and after the festivities you just kind of eat and hang out all day.
MLB.com: Favorite Christmas carol?
Wright: How do you go against "Jingle Bells?"
MLB.com: There are some other good ones.
Wright: Yeah, it's a tough one, but "Jingle Bells" was the first one to come into my head, so that's my favorite.