Australia v West Indies Tests
Boxing Day a very special time for Australia's cricketers
From team Kris Kringle to walking out onto the MCG on Boxing Day, the festive season is memorable for players
Steve is the 45th Test captain of Australia, one-day and T20 captain, and is a world-class batsman
I like surprises.
Remembering back to this day six years ago, I got one of the biggest surprises of my life.
On Christmas Eve in 2009, I was called into the Australian squad for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan as cover for off-spinner Nathan Hauritz.
It was a surreal experience to say the least. Normally on Christmas, as most kids do, I would go downstairs, Mum and Dad there waiting, open presents and get stuck into lunch.
Christmas that year, in 2009, was completely different.
It started with training in the morning where I met a lot of my potential teammates for the first time, before heading to Crown Casino for the traditional lunch with all the players, support staff and their families.
Steve Smith and Dani Willis, Christmas 2014 // Getty Images
One thing I remember vividly, which has remained consistent in the years since, was the amazing feast put on by Crown. The prawns were magnificent. The oysters, outstanding.
It's probably a good thing I didn't play after the amount of food I ate that day. But it was Christmas – you're meant to eat lots!
This year will be no different. Well, I probably won’t eat too much tomorrow.
We'll all get together, except for the Victorian guys who get to spend Christmas at home, and become one big family and enjoy each other's company, share a terrific meal and exchange gifts.
As a group we do our own version of Kris Kringle, where each player pulls a name out of a hat and buys a secret present for a teammate.
Last year, Mitchell Johnson was lucky enough to receive a copy of Ryan Harris's book Rhino.
From Rhino himself.
Who also was kind enough to personally sign it.
Boof loves giving gifts and often takes the mickey where possible. I love surprises and it's always a shock to see what the coach comes up with each year.
The Boxing Day Test, and the week leading up to it, is a very special time for an Australian cricketer.
Smith leads the team onto the MCG // Getty Images
It's a privilege and an honour to represent Australia in Test cricket, and there's no better time to do it than in the festive season in front of hopefully a big crowd at the MCG.
Like Christmas, Boxing Day growing up was about family, watching the cricket on TV and playing in the backyard.
It's part of what inspired me to play and pursue a career in cricket, and hopefully this Australian team can do the same and inspire the next generation of young cricketers.
We didn't see the best of the West Indies in Hobart, but that doesn’t mean we're going to take them any easier.
Stumps: At the Hobart Test
For us, it's about doing what we do well, keep doing it, keep improving, and if we can do that then we'll have success.
While tomorrow's Test is at the forefront our minds and our main focus, planning has already started for our tour to New Zealand in February.
I've begun having a few chats with Boof and Rod Marsh about what we need to do to be successful against our Trans-Tasman rivals; how the conditions will play, certain combinations, things like that.
One of my main goals as captain is to improve our record away from home, so New Zealand, in what will be Brendon McCullum's final Test series, looms as a huge test and one we're all very excited for.
Brendon has captained his team extremely well over the past couple of years, leading from the front with an aggressive style of cricket that's great to watch.
Watch: Smith passes on best wishes to McCullum
Tactically, Brendon is as sharp as they come, and I heard him say recently that sometimes you've got to be prepared to lose a game to win it and that's shown in the way he plays and all credit to him.
Yesterday I received another surprise when I was named the ICC Cricket of the Year – a huge honour and one that's very humbling.
It's been a great year; from becoming captain, to scoring a double-century at Lord's and hitting the winning runs in the World Cup final, but I'd love to be writing this with an Ashes win in England under my belt.
But the game moves on and so have we, and while no loss is never wanted, it's made us even more determined to become better and to give ourselves the best chance of winning more games for Australia, at home and abroad.
From all the Australian cricket team, have a Merry Christmas, eat plenty, come to the MCG if you're in Melbourne and hopefully we can put together another good performance you all.
Merry Christmas from the Australian cricket team