Arnold Schwarzenegger was seen Saturday celebrating a Christmas tradition that goes back to the action icon’s first year in America. In a video posted on Instagram, the Conan the Barbarian star is seen handing out Christmas gifts at the Hollenbeck Youth Center. He explained the tradition’s origins in the caption to the post.
“There is a reason I have been handing out presents at the @hollenbeckyouthcenter in Boyle Heights for over 30 years,” Schwarzenegger captioned the video. “When I first came to America, my friends at Gold’s Gym were so generous. They brought me in during Christmas time and made me feel so happy and included,” he added. “I love being able to give back and see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they get their gifts. Merry Christmas!” Schwarzenegger explained.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Goes into Detail About His Christmas Tradition
The actor and bodybuilding legend discussed his initial Christmas experience in the U.S. in the video.“They gave me Christmas gifts, they had this beautiful Christmas tree and I felt so included here in America, even though I was a foreigner, I just came to this country,” he said. “I will never forget that kind of sweetness and kindness and inclusion, so I wanted to do the same thing when I had the money,” the Terminator star added. “So this is why for the last 30-something years I’ve been coming out here. … It makes me feel good that I can share the kindness and inspire other people to do the same thing.”
In another part of the video, Schwarzenegger generously distributed Christmas presents to local visitors, including families and children. He engaged in friendly conversations with them and took memorable photographs at the center.
Last month, Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a video of him carrying out another yearly tradition of giving out turkeys to members of the community at the Hollenbeck Youth Center for Thanksgiving.“A three-decade tradition. Giving out turkeys at the Hollenbeck Center in East LA! How do you give back this time of year?,” Schwarzenegger captioned the video.
Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger wasn’t always so generous. He once tricked rival Sylvester Stallone into starring in the 1992 comedy disaster Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
“I read the script, and it was a piece of [crap],” Arnold told Jimmy Kimmel back in 2019. “Let’s be honest. I say to myself, ‘I’m not going to do this movie.’ Then they went to Sly, and Sly called me, ‘Have they ever talked to you about doing this movie?’” he added. “And I said, yes, I was thinking about doing it. This is a really brilliant idea, this movie. When he heard that, because he was in competition, he said, ‘Whatever it takes, I’ll do the movie.’ And, of course, the movie went major into the toilet.”
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