12/24/08 10:00 AM EST
Trees top Gregg's Christmas fun
Cubs reliever owns farm near his home in Corvallis, Ore.
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Who better to talk about the holiday than Gregg, who will celebrate with his wife, Nicole; 7-year-old daughter, Ryann; 4-year-old son, Max; and a homegrown tree.
MLB.com: What's Christmas like with two young kids?
Gregg: It keeps you young. It's fun and entertaining. There's a lot of excitement that comes out of them. That's what you look forward to, is seeing the smiles on their faces.
MLB.com: Any family traditions?
Gregg: My brothers and all their kids and my sister and her kids all get together for Christmas so it's nice every year to get together and have a family reunion. Everybody comes back to Corvallis.
MLB.com: Do you remember anything special from past holidays when you were a kid?
Gregg: The only tradition I have with all my brothers and sisters is that we have a gift exchange instead of buying for everybody. There's quite a few of us. It makes things easier. One thing we do is we cut down our own Christmas trees. Around here, it's not that uncommon to cut down your own Christmas tree.
MLB.com: That sounds nice. Buying trees in the city can be expensive.
Gregg: On my property here, I have my own Christmas-tree farm. I have probably 3,000 or 4,000 Christmas trees on the property.
MLB.com: This must be a busy time of year for you.
Gregg: It's mostly family and friends. People come out here and cut down their own. We just bought the property so we're in the midst of reshaping the trees. They're a little overgrown.
MLB.com: You're not out there with a chain saw, are you?
Gregg: We just trim up the branches. Usually, you pay somebody to come in and do that.
MLB.com: That's a good career move for a pitcher.
Gregg: I'm not out there with any chain saws or hatchets or anything.
MLB.com: So, you have blue spruce available?
Gregg: We have Nobles and pine and Douglas fir -- a little bit of everything.
MLB.com: It must feel like Christmas year-round.
Gregg: Yeah, I guess it does. I just bought the piece of property last year, and for six, seven years prior to that, I bought my Christmas tree there. I like the property and it ended up being for sale and we bought it.
MLB.com: Do you get first dibs on the best tree?
Gregg: We have to tie off our tree and say, "Hands off."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.