"It's important to count your blessings and maintain an attitude of gratitude," he says

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 28, 2020 11:41 AM
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Alex Rodriguez's best Christmas gifts are his children!

On Thursday, Rodriguez shared a photo on Instagram of himself with his daughters Ella Alexander, 12, and Natasha Alexander, 16, sending well wishes for Christmas Eve. In the caption, the dad called his girls "two reasons I will always be grateful." He shares his kids with ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis.

"#MerryChristmas and #HappyHolidays to everyone! This has been such a challenging year. Still, there is so much for which to be thankful and it's important to count your blessings and maintain an attitude of gratitude," he writes. "Here are two reasons I will always be grateful! To you and your families, have a safe and healthy holiday and #HappyNewYear. ❤️"

Rodriguez, on Christmas Day, posted a black-and-white photo of himself sitting beside fiancée Jennifer Lopez from a dinner party.

"... This year, perhaps more than any other, has reminded us all to be appreciative and grateful for what we have, and what the holidays truly represent. Love for friends and family. Helping one another. Being the best person you can be," he writes. "The holidays show us what's really important in life."

"To our friends and families, and to our fans and followers, a heartfelt thank you for everything you mean to us," adds Rodriguez. "Be good to yourselves and one another, have a safe and healthy holiday, and let's all make 2021 the best year we've ever had!"

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Earlier this month, Rodriguez, 45, opened up to PEOPLE about the family's modified holiday plans. "I think everything is just going to be smaller. With COVID, everything is a little different," he said. "Good company, family, good food, a little wine — that always helps. Just being together with the family, really that's all that matters."

Since they began dating back in 2017, Rodriguez and Lopez have blended their families and started new holiday traditions with their children. Lopez, 51, is mom to 12-year-old twins Emme Maribel and Maximilian "Max" David.

"We're always with the four kids. That's No. 1," he said. "We like to play games — we like chess, we like Monopoly — and we like to play softball. The one thing we've been doing the last several years is playing a family softball game, and that's always fun, because Jennifer is the master of trash talk."

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And what was on Rodriguez's Christmas list this year? "Honestly, it's just health," he said. "I'm so grateful to be healthy, to have our family healthy, and just more togetherness."

Looking ahead to 2021, Rodriguez is hopeful for some return to normalcy.

"Hopefully a vaccine to get things back to normal. There's so much that I'm looking forward to," he says. "I'm looking forward to just going out and back to stadiums, where I announce games; interacting with players; taking my family to Disney World, Disneyland, even like going outside and sitting out in an outdoor table in New York and having a nice meal with friends and family. Those are some of the things I miss."