SEATTLE -- For Aaron Goldsmith, the newest voice on Mariners radio broadcasts, this year's holiday season is about more than wrapping presents.
It's also time to wrap up his first season as a Major League broadcaster, time to put his "rookie" status in the rearview mirror and begin transitioning to a grizzled veteran of the booth ... at age 30.
OK, Goldsmith isn't going to catch up soon with his veteran partner Rick Rizzs or longtime producer Kevin Cremin, who both began working Mariners broadcasts the year Goldsmith was born.
But the St. Louis native already has become a friendly and familiar part of the Mariners radio team as he fit in seamlessly alongside Rizzs last season. And he's eager to set about for a second season in what he readily admits is his dream job after working his way up the ladder calling games for the Bourne Braves, Gateway Grizzlies, Portland (Maine) SeaDogs, Frisco RoughRiders and Pawtucket Red Sox before making his Major League debut last year.
Before Goldsmith headed home to Missouri with his wife, Heather, to enjoy some holiday time with family, he took time to answer a few Christmas questions as he put a bow on his first year in the bigs.
Thank you to all the listeners who welcomed us into their homes/cars/work/etc all season. RR & KC helped make Year 1 in SEA truly special.- Aaron Goldsmith (@aaronmgoldsmith) September 30, 2013
MLB.com: What would the Mariners most like under their tree this year?
Goldsmith: I'll tell you what I'd love to see the Mariners get for Christmas: a soft-serve ice cream machine in the press box dining room.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas song? And if so, do you sing it in public or in the shower with that golden voice of yours?
Goldsmith: My voice isn't so good at singing, but my favorite Christmas song is Stevie Wonder's "What Christmas Means to Me." The other one I really like that is worth checking out on iTunes is Stephen Colbert's "Another Christmas Song." I think it really captures the Christmas spirit.
MLB.com: Since your family is in St. Louis and you and your wife live in Seattle, where will you spend the holidays this year? And describe the typical Goldsmith holiday gathering. Do you have brothers and sisters? A crazy uncle? Any good stories leap to mind?
Goldsmith: My wife and I are headed to see my family in St. Louis for Christmas this year. I come from a small family, and since I don't get to see them much during the year, we mostly relax at home and play with my parents' two Australian Shepherds. It's safe to say there's enough "dog wrestling" to last for months!
MLB.com: When was the last time you had your picture taken with Santa Claus?
Goldsmith: I can't even remember my last photo with Santa, but my mom tells the same story every Christmas about the time I began to realize that Santa might not be real. Apparently, when I was small, I noticed that all the mall Santas were wearing different shoes. Pretty genius, huh?
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition?
Goldsmith: Each year my mom would buy me one or two of the sports-themed Hallmark Christmas ornaments. By the time I moved out, I had about 20 ornaments ranging from Larry Bird to Albert Pujols. Growing up in St. Louis, I used to hang the Pujols' ornament as close as I could to the top of the tree to make it the "star."
MLB.com: What's the best thing about the holiday season for you?
Goldsmith: I'm all about the food when it comes to the holidays. I embrace the role as the family's cook and love being able to celebrate time together with really good eats. I cook a lot for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the two things at the top of my list are cranberry sauce and my mom's sweet potato recipe.
MLB.com: As a guy who travels so much for work during the year, how grateful are you that Christmas actually falls during baseball's offseason?
Goldsmith: If Christmas fell during baseball season, that would be AWFUL! It's pretty hard to complain about the life of a Major League broadcaster -- it's a dream come true. But there's no doubt that constant travel for half of the year can be difficult. Because of that, time at Christmas is even more special because it allows all of us to focus 100 percent on those we really love.
MLB.com: Are you saying you don't love Rizzs and Cremin?
Goldsmith: Ha! Those guys are already like family to me -- the family I'm with on the Fourth of July every year. Merry Christmas to all the Mariners fans! Can't wait to see everyone in Peoria.