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Trees top Gregg's Christmas fun

Trees top Gregg's Christmas fun

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CHICAGO -- Since being traded to the Cubs, Kevin Gregg has heard from a lot of family and friends who are planning trips to Chicago this summer. But Gregg is focused right now on the holidays. Christmas is an important time of year for the reliever. This offseason, he purchased some land near his Corvallis, Ore., home and now owns a Christmas-tree farm.

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?

Holiday Q&A width=
ARI: Conor Jackson
ATL: Blaine Boyer
BAL: Jeremy Guthrie
BOS: M. Delcarmen
CHC: Kevin Gregg
CWS: John Danks
CIN: Jay Bruce
CLE: Ryan Garko
COL: Clint Barmes
DET: Nate Robertson
FLA: Josh Johnson
HOU: Chris Sampson
KC: Trey Hillman
LAA: Ron Roenicke
LAD: Andre Ethier
MIL: Seth McClung
MIN: Joe Nathan
NYM: Mike Pelfrey
NYY: Brian Bruney
OAK: J. Duchscherer
PHI: Jimmy Rollins
PIT: Frank Coonelly
SD: Chase Headley
SF: Sergio Romo
SEA: Don Wakamatsu
STL: John Roney
TB: Grant Balfour
TEX: Ian Kinsler
TOR: Rod Barajas
WAS: Steven Shell

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.

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