It’s that time of year again. The time where friends and family come together to celebrate Christmas, hang out with the loved ones, and warily look at grandpa in hopes that he doesn’t doze off, and face plant into the mashed potatoes.

The red and green Christmas tablecloths are pulled out from underneath the purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras tablecloths, and OH MY GOD I FORGOT TO DO MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. Everyone on Magazine Street beware. I’m coming in hot!

And, like me, I’m sure a few of you still need to do some last second shopping, which, if that is the case, here’s a list of gift ideas for our loved ones –

 

A brand new calendar for Starlight Racing at the Fairgrounds.

As in, lets start again, and add more dates for night racing at the track. I went last Friday for the first time and, even though I didn’t cash in any tickets, it was a blast. The Fairgrounds set up a party tent with a DJ, White Russians (which spoke to my love of “The Big Lebowski”), and go-go dancers dressed like jockeys. Indeed. And, up on the fourth floor of the clubhouse, the place was packed as fans watched Contraflow play some classic rock. I saw folks wearing gold chains, and feathering their hair. Honestly, if you never had the chance to go to a prom in 1982, you need to check this out. I’m pretty sure I even saw some freshmen sneak in some booze. So, to recap – Me. White Russians. Go-go dancers. Sweet medallions. Starlight racing is wonderful. And speaking of “The Big Lebowski” …

 

A ratty bathrobe for yours truly.

I just need to have my wardrobe perfected before I cover Tulane Bowling later this year. Yes, I said bowling. Tulane is ranked in the top 20, and even though I have no idea who they consider their arch-rival, I’m voting that it be McKendree University. Let’s go Green Wave! Crush the McKendree (I guess I should Google search their team mascot before starting a blood feud). Speaking of getting hot…

Making a list, and checking it twice

 

A vat of Tabasco for the Tulane Women’s basketball team

The hot sauce from Avery Island seems to be the perfect gift for the hot streak that Tulane is enjoying. Since dropping a game to Green Bay in the Paradise Jam tournament, the Green Wave have rolled to six straight victories. The win streak includes a 61-59 road victory in Oxford, over the Ole Miss Rebels – in which senior center Chinwe Duru did exceptional work in the middle, collecting 15 points and 5 rebounds, to go along with three blocks. The Green Wave get to enjoy a well-deserved Christmas break, then start conference play on Dec. 30, against the Houston Cougars. Speaking of “The Matrix,” huh?

 

A copy of “The Matrix” for Anthony Davis. 

In “The Matrix,” the main character Neo has to choose between taking the red pill, which keeps him in “wonderland,” or the blue pill – which would make him wake up in bed, believing whatever he wanted to believe. At this point, I think AD would take the blue pill, and hope he wakes up to a team that isn’t 8-19, and ranked 14th out of 15 Western conference teams, ahead of only the god-awful Lakers. After a bit of a rough start, Davis’ game has roared to life. He is averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds over the last 10 games, to go along with almost three blocks a contest. Unfortunately, the other Pelicans are still in pre-season mode, with their head coach and media going so far as to question if they even care. Ouch. Speaking of pain…

 

A book on Taoism for Sean Payton.

Making a list, and checking it twiceOr any book that teaches one to be humble. I am sure there are pressures in being a head coach in the NFL that none of us will ever know, but, on the other hand, one has to be able to handle that pressure with class. That’s part of making the big bucks. Unfortunately, Payton has come off as a little arrogant this season when dealing with the press. Payton’s “go write a blog about it” and other snide comments directed at the media are beneath him, and cast the team in a bad light. The Saints are currently on a 12-18 not-hot streak, and that Superbowl victory was a long time ago, coach. But I honestly don’t think it’s his entire fault, how about…

 

A microphone for Mickey Loomis.

No one wants a Jerry Jones type of GM, but where is this guy? This season was spiraling out of control from Jump Street, and he had no solutions. And, what put this team in such a sad state? Bad drafts, free agents that are total busts, and absolute mismanagement of the salary cap. All of those are GM-level issues. Sure, Payton has control, but Loomis needs to make some calls, or rein Payton in at least. If Loomis has handed all of the GM-level decisions over to Payton, then he should at least help the guy by fending off the reporters, and accept some responsibility for this awful stretch. Or, at least, get in front of an issue and cut players that don’t want to be here, or, if they do, just don’t deserve to be here (paging Mr. Browner, Mr. Brandon Browner). Step up to the mic, Mr. Loomis. Anyway – let’s get happy and buy some…

 

Season tickets to Tulane baseball.

Honestly, someone buy me these. It’s going to be a great year for the Wave – with an exciting schedule to boot. The first pre-season polls are starting to filter in and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has Tulane ranked 19th. Coach Pierce and the Green Wave will face the likes of top 10 powers Louisiana-Lafayette and LSU at Turchin Stadium. Other programs that will likely rank in the top 40, and visit Uptown throughout the year, include Houston, Pepperdine and Southeastern Louisiana. Then hopefully we start talking about a long tournament run to Omaha. Oh, I need a baseball hat too. Thanks!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the list. It has definitely been an interesting year so far – the good, the bad, the naughty, and nice. As always, remember that these are just games to enjoy with our friends and family, and, in the end, hanging out with the friends and family is what life is all about. Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you get every single thing you wish for. You deserve it.

 

And, if those ideas don’t work, we always have drinks and songs –

 

Beer Pairing – Abita Brewing’s “Christmas Ale” 

Playlist Recommendation – Squirrel Nut Zippers – “Christmas Caravan” album*

 

*Honestly, go buy this album. It’s the greatest Christmas album of all time. Some tracks will have you jitter-bugging around the Christmas tree.