The Holiday Tweetbag!

December 13, 2018 - 6:00 am

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s a most wonderful time to get to your holiday tweets!

We’ll start with a very important issue - The Yankee Swap:

To me there is one way to walk away the winner of a White Elephant or Yankee Swap party. If you don’t know what that is… you should host one.

What happens is:

(From Wikipedia) …each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers as they arrive, or their names are randomly drawn, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order — with a twist. The person who receives the number 1 will pick a gift from the pile and open it for all to see.  The person who receives number 2 then chooses a gift and opens it, and then must decide whether to keep it or swap it for the first player’s gift.  Finally, the person who picked first gets to choose from all the gifts or keep what he/she has already received. In the end, the gift you are holding is the gift you take home.

So your mission at one of these parties is to provide the best gift. If it’s a $20 threshold, then your mission is to bring the most memorable gift. You want to this party to be remembered for the gift that you toss into the mix. Whether it’s a discussion piece, something people don’t know about, or whatever. Be remembered. At the end of the day, you’re walking out of there with a cheap gift anyway, so if there was anything you really liked, you can go buy it for yourself. Winning a Yankee Swap is about winning the giving game.

Gag gift versus the sneaky good $20 gift? I'd go sneaky good here. There are really great gag gifts out there… just don’t do something entirely tedious. It has to be funny to everyone too. If you only know 2-3 people in the room and you roll out with the Potty Putter Toilet Time Golf Game… they may not see the humor that you and your close friends do, but might walk out of there thinking you’re a jerk.

You’re going for overall appeal… I think maybe two years ago we went to a Yankee Swap and the most popular gift, by far, was a singing stuffed chihuahua that performed “Feliz Navidad”.

I can’t even remember if that was the gift we brought to be honest, but it was, by far, the best. Your mission - find the gift that will steal the show.

We’re going to one tomorrow… I’ll give a full report on Friday.


Absolutely not. I'm making plans to shame this practice some time tomorrow. What the hell is the matter with you???


This sounds like Secret Santa, and not White Elephant so… I’m going old school here and recommending a magazine subscription. If you know their interests, it can be a small/cheap gift that keeps on giving. Maybe it’s only six months or something, but you still give them something that, perhaps, sparks their interest. And, feels like all magazine subscriptions are gifted. Does anyone sign up for their own anyway? Is this the oldest I’ve ever been in my life suggesting that you get someone a magazine subscription? Make it a good one though… Howard actually did sign me up for “Patriots Insider” one year. Oh, and in case you forgot, Howard actually has a star named after him, courtesy of Dan Hager, Nick Mendola, and me.




Ah yes, this… quick background story: Last year, my wife sent me an email giving me the old “Ooh this might be a good gift for you to get me!” I had already purchased it, and it was already at the house.

So… I immediately told her about it and gave it to her. I wanted the cred! I wanted the “I know you well enough to know that you would have wanted this gift” credit! I didn’t want to wait two weeks and have just been some sort of errand-boy that went out and got the thing she said she would like.

Yes. If need be… Get that credit!


Hmmm… now I think to be true to this, it has to mean that my parents kinda didn’t want me to have it, right?  

The entire conflict in A Christmas Story is whether or not Ralphie is old enough and responsible enough to handle the BB gun. 

The only thing I can remember my mom not wanting me to have when I was younger… was anything to do with The Simpsons. That show has been on forever, and when I was in about 4th or 5th grade, it was just landing in my world. Bart Simpson proudly declared himself an “Underachiever and proud of it!” and she saw that as a red flag. Eventually, she gave in, and figured I was grounded enough not to have Bart be bad influence on my life.

If we’re going the thing I wanted so bad that I thought about it morning, noon, and night… Ninja Gaiden? NHL 95 or something like that?  



Christmas Eve is way better… you use up every ounce of the day, don’t you? When you’re a kid, it’s Christmas Day probably, but as an adult, I’ll take Eve all day.

Christmas Day has always felt anti-climactic to me. You get up, you do the gifts and then… you have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up to you.

Whether you’re waiting a few hours to go to a family gathering, or waiting the appropriate number of hours until you can call your friends. By about 3 p.m., it always feels, to me, like it should just be Tuesday at that point. We did the eve, and the morning and even the post-morning stuff. Now, I’m just gonna watch some NBA games and feel like it’s a regular day.


I haven’t ever seen the movie, but I saw White Christmas when it rolled through Shea’s and it is the biggest pile of trash in the world.  

Wikipedia’s description of the plot: Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into General Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys' commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what's the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that's sure to put Waverly and his business in the black!”

I mean… they show this thing in hell.


Real. For the smell.


No kids for us yet… but this can serve as a time capsule. As of today, I think I’d be in support of as soon as everyone is awake works for me.


The only cartoons I know are Frosty and Charlie Brown Christmas… but those other specials from the 60s and 70s? The classic ones? Yeah, you’ve got to take those in for the spirit of it. Don’t sleep on Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas!


Not for me… not at all. I don’t know how large families got together before sports were on TV. I don’t care who is playing on Easter, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, or Christmas… having that game on can be a lifeline to keep you away from certain conversations or start others. It naturally splits your party into the chatty crowd at the table, and the game-watchers. These groups were never meant to sit in the same room after eating.


Got a few tweets about egg nog and just want to say… you’re all aware of the relationship I have with eggs, right? Hell. No. Anything but the nog.


Ah yes… Stout season, and winter ales aplenty! I’ll toss an unsolicited shoutout to the Big Ditch “Fresh Baked”. If you find yourself at a tailgate in the next couple weeks, you could do a lot worse than a Sierra Nevada Christmas Ale.


Every day of my life that goes by the more I like being home. Any sort of holiday that involves the potential to eat a lot, means that I’m going to want to be close to “comfy pants”. I vote home, with all the responsibility that comes with it, for that alone.


And Finally… 

Ah yes… Red Dead Redemption 2. I’m just not ready to write about it yet. Still coping. Am I growing my beard out as long as possible in tribute to Arthur Morgan? Well… I’m not NOT doing it for that reason.  Man... That game.

A Red Dead Review… soon. Thanks to all and Happy Holidays! Maybe ask for Red Dead 2!

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