BURLINGTON, Iowa -- It's a very Perry Christmas in Iowa.
On his final day of campaigning before the holiday break, Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited the press bus -- decked out by its road-weary journalists with colored lights -- to wish reporters traveling with him a Merry Christmas.
He shared how he likes to celebrate Christmas morning by videotaping his children (now ages 25 and 28) getting out of bed and opening gifts, a tradition that he joked has gone from charming to charmingly "lame" as his kids have aged.
"Here's what they hate. Because I take my video camera out, and I video them in bed. And they're pulling the covers over their head. And it's like 'C'mon Dad, I'm grown, would you cut it out?' I have them from every year -- like from when they were itty bitty, two or three years old getting up, going in to look at the Christmas tree."
By now, he jokes, the response from his children is less enthusiastic than when Griffin and Sydney Perry were still at the age of having sugarplums dancing in their heads. "It's kinda like 'Dad, you are so lame.'" he said.
But, Perry added, "I think they would be disappointed if I didn't" carry on the tradition.
Some of the other holiday facts the presidential candidate shared:
-- His wife Anita's gift is a "nice bag" that she picked out (their deal is that she picks, he pays, so he hasn't seen it yet). His gift from her remains "a big secret."
-- His favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life" (because of its portrayal of small community banks)
-- His family's favorite Christmas album is one recorded by Clay Walker (also the artist who performs Perry's campaign song "We're All American")
-- Dinner in the Perry household will be "turkey and dressin'" with a dessert of black cherry Jell-O with cream cheese topping
-- They will attend Christmas Eve service at Lake Hills Church in Austin
Perry said he won't be able to make the drive out to his hometown of Paint Creek this year to see his aging parents, although he plans to visit his in-laws in College Station, TX.
But his family understands that this holiday season isn't exactly like Christmases past, he said.
"They know this year's kinda different."