It's been a crazy offseason for Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, but he wouldn't want it any other way. Less than two weeks after Kansas City made it to Game 7 of the World Series, Guthrie was off to the Japan All-Star Series, representing MLB.
There, he and his wife, Jenny, and three children immersed themselves in Japanese culture, and Guthrie, who is partly of Japanese descent, connected with family members he hadn't ever met.
Now he's back in the Kansas City area getting ready for Christmas, one of his favorite holidays. MLB.com caught up with Guthrie over the phone for a quick chat about the holiday season.
MLB.com: What's the typical holiday season like around the Guthrie house?
Guthrie: There isn't much going on that isn't pretty much like every other household, I guess. The most important thing is that we try to remember the meaning of Christmas on a daily basis and think of ways we can spread holiday cheer with others and not just for ourselves -- to think about love and sharing at this time of year.
MLB.com: Is the house all decked out for the occasion?
Guthrie: Yes. My wife does a very nice job of decorating the home and making it feel wintery and Christmasy, if that's a word.
MLB.com: What's the best gift you ever received?
Guthrie: I honestly don't have any idea. I don't have one that stands out. I wouldn't say I was huge on the whole Santa thing when I was a kid. The gift part when I was younger was never quite as important. You obviously enjoy the Santa aspect and the gifts, but by the time I was 11 or 12, I wasn't that into it anymore. The most important thing was thinking of Christ and celebrating his birth and his life.
MLB.com: What's the best gift you've ever given?
Guthrie: A wedding ring. I proposed to Jenny on Christmas Day in 2000 in Portland, Oregon.
MLB.com: Anything you really want under the tree this year?
Guthrie: No. I'm pretty fortunate and obviously enjoy many blessings. At this point, Christmas for me is really more about giving than receiving, so that's what I'll try to concentrate on.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.