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12/24/08 10:00 AM EST

Boyer holds hope for white Christmas

Braves reliever wouldn't mind seeing a little snow in Atlanta

Having lived his entire life in suburban Atlanta, Blaine Boyer longs for the opportunity to enjoy a true white Christmas. But even with little chance of seeing snow again this year, the Braves right-handed reliever is looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy his favorite Christmas traditions with his family and friends.

While taking time to step away from one of the many workouts he's shared with John Smoltz this offseason, Boyer recently talked to MLB.com about many of his favorite Christmas memories and traditions.

MLB.com: What's the best Christmas gift that you've ever received?

Boyer: When I was 12 years old, my older brother, Chris, got me an Alaskan malamute/golden retriever mix that we named Boomer. It was my first dog and I'll never forget him. My wife, Gincy, and I have two great dogs now. But no dog will ever replace Boomer.

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

MLB.com: So how did they surprise you with Boomer?

Boyer: I came to the house on Christmas Eve and my brother asked me if I wanted to wait until Christmas Day to get my gift. When I told my mom that I was going to wait, she said, "I think you should go ahead and see what it is now." That's one day that I'll never forget.

MLB.com: What is your favorite aspect of the Christmas season?

Boyer: I just think many of us forget exactly what the season is all about. Christians have to remember we are celebrating the birth of our Savior. We always have to keep that in mind.

Around this time of year, I always get excited about getting the Christmas tree. I've always been infatuated with the trees.

MLB.com: What is the best kind of tree?

Boyer: You've got to get the biggest and best Frazier fur possible. Those are by far the best. But the one we got this year is already dead. I don't know what happened. My wife and I watered it every day.

MLB.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas show or movie?

Boyer: Definitely "Christmas Vacation." That is a classic movie. We watch that every year on Christmas Eve.

MLB.com What else will you do on Christmas Eve?

Boyer: We always get together with Chris Eble and his family. We'll go over there, eat wings and fondue. We'll go to the 11 p.m. service at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and look forward to the chance to sing "Oh Holy Night." That is by far my favorite song. I look forward to that every year.

MLB.com: Have you ever had the opportunity to enjoy a white Christmas?

Boyer: There have been some years when there has been a dusting. I do have some memories of going to Steamboat for Christmas when I was about 3 or 4 years old. We obviously saw some snow that year. But it really would be great to have a white Christmas here in Atlanta.

MLB.com What do you remember about that trip to Steamboat?

Boyer: I remember it being fun. I guess my best memory is of a guy that my parents paid to dress as Santa to come to see me.

MLB.com: You've spent the past couple of months working out with Smoltz. What would you get him for Christmas?

Boyer: I don't know what you get the guy who has everything. I guess I'd get him a hat to cover his head."

MLB.com: Jeff Francoeur said that same thing last year. What would you get Jeff or Brian McCann?

Boyer: I'd get Brian a large pizza, since he hasn't been eating this offseason. I'd get Jeff a Nacho Libre DVD. That's his favorite movie.

MLB.com: What would you get the Braves organization?

Boyer: I'd like to give them 84 strong appearances next year.

MLB.com: You know that would match Chris Reitsma's franchise record for appearances?

Boyer: Yeah, and I feel like I can do it. I'm as strong as I've ever been. I'm really excited about what's ahead. I'm really fired up for the 2009 season.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.