December 2009

Merry Christmas to everyone!

On Christmas Eve, I want to wish everyone a great holiday season with your family and friends. It’s a special time of the year, and we all need to keep in mind why it’s so meaningful and important.

Christmas is the day Jesus was born. On this day we were given life. It’s the reason for the season. It’s a day of giving, not receiving.

In my household, my kids never ask for anything. You play baseball, you can give your kids what they want. You want to make them happy, and it’s always a good feeling to give something nice to your kids. But they understand what this day, this season is all about.

It’s always about giving. It doesn’t have to be anything material. It can be a handshake, a smile, uplifting words. Those are all gifts. Giving is easy. Smile, brighten somebody’s day. Make somebody feel good.

You know what? It will make you feel good if you do. I guarantee it.

I’m pretty sure my mom would tell you that one of her happiest days was when I was a little kid, 7 or 8 years old, and I gave the 20 bucks she’d given us for Christmas to a guy I’d see every day on the street in our hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Twenty bucks in my neighborhood made you The Man. I never had 20 bucks, but I gave it away. There was a guy I’d always see in the streets, a guy who didn’t have anything. I went out and gave it to him – the whole 20 bucks. He was so grateful. I’ll always remember that.

My mom was so happy when I did that, because I wasn’t thinking about myself when I gave my last. She instilled in me early in life that the best thing you can do is give. That’s especially true this time of year.

I’m looking forward to being with my family, enjoying this special time. I’m right on schedule coming back from my sports hernia surgery, already looking forward to a new season, taking another shot at that World Series crown with my Angels.

I haven’t run hard yet, but I’ve been doing some light lifting and pulling. I don’t want to push it until I’m ready. I’ll be getting started on my rehab program at the Athletes’ Performance Institute near my home in the Dallas area. I’ll be ready to go this spring, and I’m looking forward to putting together my best season yet in 2010.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone from the Hunter family!