The Christmas season at the Sharpmans’ this year was totally different from what it was last year, when we were in the bubble.
The first huge difference came right after Thanksgiving when the outside of the house got decorated. Or, maybe more to the point, got transformed. Last year, they called that off, although me, Robert, Ethan and the sound man put up some icicle lights on the back of the house. This time…wow. I’ve never seen a house as decorated as the Sharpmans’ is. It’s a team effort, with Pancho in charge of things like getting each and every bush that line the driveway covered in clear lights. (Maya only likes clear lights, like she explains on the show every year.) The gateposts get the full treatment too, and the outside of the house is practically covered too. I helped Pancho and his crew out, which was actually pretty fun, but I do wish I could get them to call me el cazador instead of el guapo lol.
The house looked amazing when we were through – but it took two days’ solid work to get it done. And, no, there were no statues of snowmen on the lawn: it was all just thousands of clear lights. We did the pool house as well, and Maya said it was okay for me to use the colored lights like they got for me last year. I got the boys to lend a hand so they wouldn’t feel totally left out of the decorating. It doesn’t exactly look like the main house, but I think it looks plenty festive. And there’s certainly no shortage of lights: we used all the ones we had (if y’all remember, Sandy said she got double-shipped on them last year), so, just like last year, you can read a book by the lights in front of the pool house. (It’s been fuckin freezing for most of December, especially at night, so I haven’t exactly had too much time to try it out, but I did read a speech from Henry IV to the boys to prove I could do it.)
Of course the inside of the house got decorated to the hilt as well. I thought they’d made a big deal last year, since there was a lot of filming done in the house while we were in the bubble, but this year there was barely a room that didn’t get transformed. (Y’all know the storage unit Maya and Robert have – the one where all my stuff is? Turns out it’s mostly a storage place for the Christmas decorations.) The Christmas decorating game plan was set up by an interior decorator a few years ago, and it really involves some spectacular effects. Even the boys’ rooms get icicle lights hanging from the ceilings, which was pretty dang cool. We never got to have Christmas lights in our rooms when we were growing up; the boys think the lights are so awesome that they leave them on at night in place of their usual night lights.
The tree was the same size as last year, meaning 10’, and again it was set up in the main hall in front of the stairs. While professionals were brought in to do most of the inside decorating, the tree was still a family activity, and, once again, the boys shared the honor of putting the star on the top of the tree (while me and Robert held onto them so they wouldn’t fall – that made me nervous again, too.) They let me help decorate, which was cool, and that involved hanging ornaments as well as engineering the garland on, since I was the tallest person there (Robert’s 5’10”.) We all had fun, and then Belen brought us that bombass foamy Mexican hot chocolate and sweet Mexican rolls before it was time to take the boys up to bed. No, it wasn’t decorating the tree at home with my parents and the ornaments I grew up with, but it was still partaking in a family Christmas tree decorating, and that was a really good feeling.
I wanted to get my baseball ornaments out of storage – the ones Joyce made for me a few years back – but Robert talked me out of it. It’s not like there was one box that was labeled ‘Hunter Christmas’ or anything, so it was just better leaving my shit where it is for the time being. So me and the boys decorated the tree they got me for the pool house with the ornaments we made last year, the Peanuts ornaments we’d gotten in for me last year, and some new ornaments that I had a hand in ordering a few months back. So now there’s a couple Dodgers ornaments, a bunch more Peanuts ones (Matteo: “it’s practically a Snoopy tree”), and other baseball-themed ones. The video of us doing the tree is really cute, way more laidback than the film of the big tree in the main house getting decorated.
Y’all might think that decorating a San Marino mansion and pool house was enough Christmas decorating for one year, but I also had to go up and help Joyce getting the outside of her house all done up. She didn’t do the outside of the house last year, either, so it took us a little time to remember how we did it in 2019. Y’all may remember that Joyce now uses red, green and white lights – so I got to do each of the three houses I helped decorate differently.
The only person whose house I didn’t decorate for the holidays was Keaton’s, but he had Travis on hand to help out Juan Diego, who’s the one responsible for the decoration scheme where they live. He does put out plastic snowmen, and, if I’m not mistaken, there were some new ones on view this year when I went over to see Keaton one night. I think everyone was breathing much easier this year with holiday decorating, and we all felt good being able to do it again after not doing it last year.
One more major, major deal that didn’t happen last year was the Sharpmans’ Christmas party. If you thought my birthday party was fancyass, you should have seen how the house and the 250 guests were decked out for the Christmas party. There were plenty of celebrities I recognized, and (Sandy explained) most of the people I didn’t recognize were all more or less important Hollywood types. To give y’all of how big the thing was , there were two small orchestras (they were too big to be bands), one situated in the house and played jazzy Christmas carols and shit like that, while the other one was outside and playing dance music. There was a dance floor set up outside, between the house and the pool, surrounded by enough heaters to make it comfortable out back for women in very brief “cocktail dresses” (Joyce said I should call them.) And there was no shortage of very hot women showing a lot of themselves (Joyce: “I’d expect nothing less than that at a Hollywood party.”) It kind of sucked that Joyce didn’t get invited – and I could tell she was a little pissed about it– but Maya, Robert and Jean-François are of the opinion that Baseball Boy will be better for business if he at least gave the appearance of being available. It’s not like they’re telling me I can’t have a girlfriend, but, as Robert put it, “you gotta give the people who buy ‘make mine #baseballboy’ tshirts at least a little hope.” He’s married to a super hot woman , so I reckon he knows what he’s talking about.
It was actually just as well that Joyce wasn’t there, since I was working all night long. Not so much mingling with the guests as making the rounds with the camera as a sort of part-time host. Maya and Robert took their turns doing that too, but they had to be the hosts for the guests, so they couldn’t be the hosts for the TV all the time. So it turned out to be pretty handy that I was around (and that I own my own tuxedo lol.) I’m pretty comfortable on camera by now, and they gave me a list of questions I could ask the guests who agreed to be on camera with me. Mostly it was lameass shit like were they having a good time and what was their Christmas wish for the viewers or what were their new year’s resolutions. It was fine, and people seemed to be willing to talk to me (and had an idea of who I was, I reckon…which kinda surprised me, since the party was filled with people who were famous for real.)
People were dancing quite a bit (“it’s one way to keep warm,” one of them said to me to me when I had the microphone in her face), and, wouldn’t you know it?, a famous and super hot pop star (you’ll find out who when you watch the show) asked me to dance…while the camera was rolling. Now, no one told me that I wasn’t allowed to dance with the guests, but, then, Maya, Robert and Jean-François don’t know about my dancing…um…problem, and that I’d of looked like a total dork if I tried.
So I said “thanks…but I gotta keep making the rounds.”
“You can take a few minutes off to dance with me,” the pop star said, kinda insistent, which y’all know isn’t the way to my heart.
“I wish I could,” I said, “but I’m not the boss here.”
I was almost on my own, with just had the cameraman and sound man with me… and neither of them knew that I can’t dance…so they kept urging me to go for it. From their way of looking at it, it must have seemed crazy for me not to want to dance with someone that hot and that famous, and maybe they thought I was playing hard to get or something. (This was our regular cameraman and sound dude…they should know me better by now). It was a lot of pressure, and I was getting mighty uncomfortable (you can see me blushing on camera, which I think is pretty embarrassing, even if Maya said that it was cute when she told me the exchange was going into the show for the week.)
I didn’t know what to do: I was basically stuck between lying about being a Baptist again (which Meemaw would not have liked me to do on the TV) or just telling the truth.
So I told the truth.
I knew to steer clear of white boy jokes, so I just said “I can’t dance. Although it’s times like this when I wish I could.”
“You can’t be that bad,” she said.
“Oh yes I can.”
“But you’re so athletic. I’ve seen how gracefully you swim on the show. You can move.”
“Yeah, just not to music.”
I was afraid she was gonna go on with the argument and offer to teach me or some shit like that, but she got the hint at that point that it had gone just far enough. I was blushing to the roots of my hair by that point, and I think she had enough experience in front of the cameras herself to know not to push too much. I was real grateful for that.
(Maya then explained to me that, even if she didn’t get to dance with me, she got plenty of free TV exposure out of it. So I shouldn’t feel like I’d been a failure as far as hot pop stars were concerned.)
I didn’t realize how much freedom they’d given me among the guests until they showed me a rough cut of the party show. I came off looking practically like the TV host, and the morning after the show aired, I blew up on Instagram again, this time in my tuxedo. There were a lot of James Bond comments (like “make him the next Bond – who says he has to be old??”), which were really flattering, but I’ve learned not to take what my ‘fans’ say too seriously. I don’t think I have what it takes to play James Bond lol, no matter how good people think I look in a tuxedo. And just because I seem to be better than I ever thought I’d be when it comes to talking to a camera, that doesn’t mean I have the vaguest idea of how to act.
So don’t look for Hunter Block to be licensed to kill anytime soon…although I did become a meme briefly: “#baseballboyforbond” trended for a couple days before most of the excitement died down.