MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left-hander Glen Perkins is a rare player who suits up for his hometown team.Perkins grew up in nearby Stillwater and attended the University of Minnesota before being drafted by the Twins in 2004 and making his debut in '06. Perkins is also coming off an impressive season, having posted a 2.48 ERA in 61 1/3 innings to emerge as one of the game's best left-handed relievers. Perkins, one of the few Twins to spend his offseason in Minnesota, lives locally in Lakewood with wife Alisha and daughters Addison, 5, and Lyla, 3. He's always celebrated Christmas in Minnesota, and even now he doesn't have to venture too far to share the holiday season with family and friends. Perkins took some time out of his day to talk with MLB.com about a variety of topics, including the holidays, the offseason and his goals for this upcoming year: MLB.com: Do you have any special Christmas traditions? Perkins: "Not particularly, no. When I grew up we did Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my parents and Santa Claus would show up. But now, with my family and my wife Alisha's family, we bounce around and have different days with the families. But with our kids, we make sure to do Christmas morning with Santa and all that. So, other than that, not too much is set in stone. MLB.com: You mentioned your two daughters. How excited do they get for Christmas? Perkins: Actually, this is the first year that they are through-the-roof excited for Christmas. We get a picture of them with Santa Claus every year, and as you look through the years, the first year Addie was too young and didn't really know what was going on. The next year she looked a little scared, and even the year after that she was still scared and we had our newborn who didn't really know what was going on. But now they're both excited to be on Santa's lap. Even last year, Lyla was a bit uneasy as a 2-year-old, so this is the first year that they're really both excited. So it'll be fun to see their reactions on Christmas. MLB.com: Looking back at your own experiences with Christmas as a kid, do you have a favorite gift you received? Perkins: This is going to sound bad, and I'm sure my parents are going to read this, but I never really received what I asked for as a kid. (Laughs) They always gave me really great stuff, but there was this one year where they actually gave me the Talkboy -- the one from "Home Alone" -- which was the one time where like from September on I said I wanted the Talkboy and actually got it for Christmas. But if I remember correctly, it broke or I stopped using it literally after like two weeks. So I guess I got a lot of great presents, but that one sticks out because I actually got what I was asking for. But it's incredibly embarrassing looking back now. MLB.com: How about a favorite gift you've given someone else? Perkins: Oh man. I guess nothing sticks out. I don't have anything too specific. But I'm pretty excited about what I got my wife this year. It's either going to be the greatest gift ever, or it's going to crash and burn. I don't know, but I'm taking a chance. It's something small, and if she likes it, it's going to be her favorite thing and if she doesn't, it's going to be a waste of money. It's going to be one or the other. MLB.com: I also saw you have been active in the community recently, helping pack "Manna Packs" in Coon Rapids on Dec. 13 for people in need of food in developing nations around the world. How was that? Perkins: I packed bags of what was more-or-less ramen noodles, and it all goes to places like Africa and Haiti. It was fun. Anytime they call and ask me to do anything, I'm all for it. It's amazing to see us pack these bags of food, and it's 400 grams of food and it's six meals. And you look at the one bag, and there's no way it feed me, but it feeds six people. So it's crazy, and really makes you appreciate what you have here. MLB.com: You're a local guy, having grown up in Stillwater, what is it like to spend the holidays in Minnesota? Perkins: We just moved into a new house, actually. I grew up in Minnesota, born and raised, and never left. But we just finished building our new house and moved in on Thanksgiving night. I've always been here and grew up in Stillwater and my parents still live there. My wife grew up in Lakeville, where we are now, and her parents are here, so we don't venture out too far. MLB.com: So what is it like playing for your hometown team, and being able to be so close to your family year-round? Perkins: It's definitely nice and something I definitely don't take for granted. It's an opportunity not to many people get, and I'm very appreciative of that. MLB.com: A lot of players start throwing again after the holidays. What's your offseason regimen like? Perkins: I already started throwing [on Dec. 5] and have been throwing three times a week. So I'm feeling good right now. But it really cranks up after the holidays. Mid-January is when I'll start throwing off the mound for the first time, so I'll be on the mound a good six or eight times before Spring Training. MLB.com: Last year went well for you on a personal level with a breakout season in the bullpen. But what are your goals for next season -- both personally and for the team? Perkins: I think I have the opportunity to build off a pretty good year and set myself up moving forward. I know they're going to be relying on me and I feel pretty good about that. Everything I've done this winter, I've done knowing that I'm going to be a big part of the team. So to be able to pitch in situations where the game is going to be on the line is exciting. So I know that focus will not be a problem this offseason to get ready for next season. I just want to build on what I accomplished last season and try to stay healthy.
And for the team, there's nowhere to go but up. It's not something we're going to rely on, but I think we know as a club that a lot of things went wrong and hopefully the things that went wrong will go right this year. With the some of the additions we've made, including Josh Willingham, we've add some good bats, and also some good fielders, too. So I'm excited to get to Fort Myers for Spring Training with the team we're going to be able to field.