Q&A: Merrifield shares favorite holiday memories

Q&A: Merrifield shares favorite holiday memories

KANSAS CITY -- It's that special time of year, and no one appreciates it more than Royals super utility player Whit Merrifield.

Christmas is Merrifield's favorite holiday. He even leaves the radio station in his car on 24-hour Christmas music from Dec. 1 through the holidays.

Here's what else Merrifield, a North Carolina native, had to share about Christmas:

MLB.com: Ever had a white Christmas?

Merrifield: "Yes, one time in high school. It was definitely cool. After we got done with presents and everything, I went to this golf course nearby and we went sledding. I liked that."

MLB.com: Have a favorite Christmas memory?

Merrifield: "Well, last year our family went on vacation to an island in the Caribbean, the only time we've done that over Christmas. That stood out. I definitely like the tropical climate."

MLB.com: Favorite Christmas present of all-time?

Merrifield: "I got a dog for Christmas about six years ago. It is a Golden Retriever we named 'KC.'"

MLB.com: Favorite Christmas movie?

Merrifield: "I'm a big 'Home Alone' fan. The first two were great. I stopped watching when they changed actors for 3 and 4."

MLB.com: What is your family tradition on Christmas?

Merrifield: "We're very big on tradition. We have had the same format forever. Before we start the presents, my mom gets the camera out, then we start. I remember as a kid my sister and I would be upstairs and we couldn't sleep the night before. The local TV stations would have 'Santa trackers.' We thought every red light in the sky was Rudolph."

MLB.com: So you definitely open gifts on Christmas morning and not Christmas Eve?

Merrrfield: "Yes. And it works out good because my fiancee's family opens on Christmas Eve. So we get to do the presents thing twice."

MLB.com: When did you figure out Santa wasn't real?

Merrfield: "I was like 9 or so and was playing hide-and-seek with some friends. I was up in the attic hiding and I saw this gift that I wanted -- it was like this projector that would flash images of ducks and you'd shoot them with a gun. The next morning when I opened my presents, that one was there and it was from 'Santa.' I put the pieces together then that he wasn't real."

MLB.com: Favorite Christmas food?

Merrifield: "Definitely my mom's sweet potato casserole. She makes it only on special occasions."

MLB.com: Favorite Christmas song?

Merrfield: "I like [Bruce] Springsteen's Christmas songs, especially 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.'"

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.