CINCINNATI -- Growing up in Punxsutawney, Pa., a town that is most known for Groundhog Day, Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has fond memories of several idyllic Christmas holidays.
Mesoraco still lives in his hometown and bought his own house there last year. This past season, he got engaged, and the 25-year-old and his fiancé, Kira, will be married in the fall after the 2014 season.
With his third Major League season just around the corner, Mesoraco is also set to become the Reds' everyday catcher for the first time.
While he looks forward to what should be a big year ahead, Mesoraco sat down with MLB.com and discussed holiday memories and his plans for the upcoming one.
MLB.com: What part of the holidays do you enjoy the most?
Mesoraco: I think it's just being around my family. Everybody comes in for Christmas. Every Christmas Eve, we go to my Grandma and Grandpa's house right after church and they roll out all kinds of presents where everybody gets to open them. We'll go to my fiancé's house after that and spend Christmas night there with her family. I think this year, we'll have my other side of the family to my house and spend Christmas Eve. We'll sit around the fireplace, do that kind of thing and drink hot chocolate, I don't know.
MLB.com: What was the best present you've ever gotten?
Mesoraco: The one that I remember the most. … Church from my Grandpa's house was about 100 yards. So we ran down after church to get our presents. I remember going into the house and they had one of those big electric cars that you drive around. I was probably seven at the time, so that was perfect. We took it right outside and started driving it around.
MLB.com: What do you want for Christmas this year?
Mesoraco: You know what? I don't have too many wants at this point. I think I just want to have an enjoyable time around my family. When you're away so much, it's nice to have everybody come together for Christmas.
MLB.com: What kind of holiday shopper are you? Are you efficient and get it done early or wait until the last minute and find yourself at the mall?
Mesoraco: I'll probably wait until the last minute. I don't do a whole lot of stuff until I absolutely have to. I'm better with the pressure on. I'll figure something out.
MLB.com: What is your favorite holiday movie?
Mesoraco: Probably it would have to be "A Christmas Story." The Red Ryder BB gun, that's my favorite [part].
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas song?
Mesoraco: Probably "Jingle Bells."
MLB.com: What's the big holiday meal like?
Mesoraco: Anything my Grandma cooks is always good. They'll make a ham for Christmas. At my other Grandma and Grandpa's house, we always have fish for dinner. That's kind of the Italian way -- to have fish for dinner. That's one of my favorite parts.
MLB.com: Do you have a holiday wish for Reds fans heading into 2014?
Mesoraco: I think for us, it would be to get back to where we belong at the top of our division. That would be the biggest thing. In the playoffs, anything can happen. It comes down more to a who-is-hot type of thing. For us, to get back on top in the division would be pretty important.