WASHINGTON -- Charlie Slowes has been a popular figure since he became the play-by-play voice of the Nationals in 2005. Slowes is known for his tell-it-like-it-is style and his trademark slogan, "Bang, zoom. A curly 'W' is in the books."
With Christmas coming up, Slowes will spend time with his wife, Tina, and two sons, Jim and Alex, in Florida. MLB.com caught up with Slowes recently, and it's obvious that the holidays are a special time for him and his family.
MLB.com: What does Christmas mean to you?
Slowes: The holiday season means getting together with family and spending time that you don't get much of any more. I travel during baseball season, my oldest son is in college. My youngest son is turning 18. The future is less time together and more time apart than what it was when they were little kids.
MLB.com: What do you usually do with your family?
Slowes: When my boys were younger, we used to set up electric trains around the tree. The things that they were interested in back then aren't as important. Today, we make sure that the four of us are together at this time of year. We are going on vacation a day after Christmas. It's makes this time more valuable because Jim goes away to college. During the summer, I'm so busy.
MLB.com: While you were raising your kids, what did you enjoy the most about Christmastime?
Slowes: The excitement of my boys opening presents. I loved looking at their faces, wondering if they received what they wanted. They usually did. Now that they are older, it's different. They are adults. The last few years, Tina is more into doing a family trip. My sons still receive gifts, [but] it's about spending time with the family.
MLB.com: That's one thing I have to say about you and Tina: You know the meaning of the word "family."
Slowes: People ask me, "What do you do during the offseason? Do you work? Do you do other sports?" I always say no because I'm gone during baseball season. You have to make up for time. You have so few days off. The days during baseball season are fun and long. I'm on my computer at 10 in the morning because I'm doing my homework on the opposing team. When I get home, it's a total shutdown.
MLB.com: What's your favorite Christmas food?
Slowes: During Hanukkah when I was growing up, we used to have potato pancakes. But during Christmas dinner, we'll have filet mignon with crab legs. That's Tina's tradition because we just had turkey for Thanksgiving. She doesn't want turkey again. We'll have some good wine.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.