Jim Spellman, WireImage.com
"I think shopping is like getting a root canal done," Charlie tells The Boot with a laugh. "I'm a big gift certificate man."
When the music icon has to go shopping for clothes, he admits he is in and out of the stores in a flash. "I'm the easiest sale in the world. If I go into a store, [I ask] do you have this in my size and this color? Give it to me and I'm gone. I'm out of here.' That's just the way I am. I just don't enjoy shopping. I think shopping is a female sport. My wife Hazel just took our little granddaughter shopping today and she'll tell me about what all they've done and everything. That's wonderful, but I don't want to do it. I've met a few guys that go shopping, but not many, not like the ladies do."
Charlie says Hazel and his longtime publicist, Paula Szeigis, have been known to team up in New York City. "I've been with Paula and Hazel a couple of times [when] they go up to New York around Christmas, and they are dangerous," he laughs. "They'll be looking at everything. I don't even go. I say 'See ya all later!' I just don't enjoy it. I don't have a thing in the world against it -- as long as I don't have to do it."
Of course, music is Charlie's thing and one of his favorite ways to celebrate Christmas is listening to the sounds of the season. "I always get out the Christmas music," he says. "'The Christmas Song' by Nat King Cole is always one of my favorites. Somebody sent me and Hazel a recording of Andrea Bocelli on the Internet doing The Lord's Prayer. It's one of the most beautiful things you've heard in your life. That guy is a great artist, so we ended up with his Christmas record. I'm sure that will become a favorite, but through the years the Nat King Cole Christmas record is always a favorite and traditional stuff like Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas.'"
Music is also part of Charlie's favorite Christmas memory. "I remember when I was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of four or five years old, my grandparents lived right down the road from us and we went down to see them on Christmas Eve night," he recalls. "We came back and Santa Claus had come early and he left me a drum. I've been asked a lot of times what Christmas do you remember and that one always comes to mind. A lot of things that happened at Christmas time I literally have forgotten about, but this particular one is still very fresh on my mind. Of all the young Christmas memories, that's the one that stays with me."