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12/24/08 10:00 AM EST

Romo grateful for family at holidays

Giants right-hander cherishes quality time at Christmas

Sergio Romo appreciates his roots. That was evident when he made his Major League debut June 26 at Cleveland. Despite the relatively short notice and the cross-country flight they had to take, Romo's father and college coach were in the stands.

So when it comes to Christmas, Romo's memories and the people in his life remain near and dear to him. The Giants right-hander, who grew up in Brawley, Calif., and lives in Yuma, Ariz., recently shared some of his holiday recollections and observations with MLB.com:

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: What was your favorite Christmas present as a kid?

Romo: When I was 9 and I got the very first NES -- Nintendo Entertainment System. All my friends had it except for me. But I had to earn it in school. My parents were very strict about grades. Grades were important to them. I couldn't play video games until I got my homework done. So it was kind of like an incentive.

MLB.com: What kind of presents did you typically want?

Romo: I'd ask for a new football. One Christmas I got a new basketball hoop, maybe a remote-control car. And always clothes, because you never could have too many clothes.

MLB.com: Did you ever receive any baseball-related Christmas gifts?

Romo: One year, my dad sent me to this baseball camp in Holtville, Calif. The Viking Baseball Camp. I apparently did well; I got a trophy. If I recall correctly, it was when I was 10 years old.

MLB.com: When did you stop believing in Santa Claus?

Romo: I was a pretty smart kid when I was younger. I want to say I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember starting to ask my parents for something I wanted, and I think I figured I could get that Nintendo for Christmas, and maybe thinking they could tell Santa. I think I figured it out when I got the Nintendo -- "I asked my parents for this." I'm going to try this for my birthday maybe.

MLB.com: What's meaningful about Christmas to you?

Romo: It's one of those times you get to be around your family with no worries. It's what you kind of wait for, that one time of the year there's nothing on your mind but who's around. My family's very close. Last year was the first time that my son realized it was Christmas. He'll be 3 in January and he already realizes it's going to be Christmas soon.

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