Everyone who knows me, knows one thing about my life...It is run by the seasons.

Baseball season to be precise. For 6 glorious months from the 1st of April to the final days of October, my life is in a state of bloom. The days are long and at times very warm...and thanks to the MLB package on Direct TV, I have access to over 60 games a week (some in HD!!)

But then...Like the galaxy under Imperial rule...the dark times come.

In the final days of October, something downright evil occurs. The time changes back, and the baseball season come to an end.

My wife calls them the grumpy months. No baseball, no daylight savings time, no happiness in Mudville. Mighty Casey can't strike out...he's not playing today. My softball league will not even start again until late March. OH THE HUMANITY!!!!

for a brief moment, like a desert flower, I am in bloom once again.


From the 4th Friday of November until 26th of December, I am born anew.


I am no longer a Scrooge, I am Clark Griswold.

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la
Tis the season to be jolly, Take it Russ!!"

I love everything about this season. I love the music, the food, the smells, the throngs of people not so merrily wandering from store to store. I love putting up the tree, the lights. I love Christmas. It is for me "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" I love buying presents, I love getting presents, heck, I am in such a state of glee I wouldn't even mind a visit from good old Cousin Eddie.

The movies and shows are the best!! (more on this later). I seek out the 24 hours a day of Christmas broadcasting and set my DVR to record. I am like Lenny on a rabbit farm, so many furry things to pet. Rudolph, Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Emmit Otter, George Bailey, Ralphie Parker, Jack Campbell, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, and every single one of the Scrooges...is there anything better???

I can't get enough Burl Ives.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas?!?!?! Are you kidding me. That song makes "Stairway to Heaven" seem like a bad commercial jingle. It is genius, dare I say it (In your best Wile E. Coyote please)....SUPER GENIUS. Burl Ives is to Christmas what water is to the ocean...Really empty without it. I love that man.

But most of all, I love the message of Christmas. I believe it is summed up best at the end of that Christmas classic "The Grinch"

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags!" It came without packages, boxes or bags!" And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!" Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
A little more indeed...

Couple that with perhaps the greatest scene in any Christmas show (cue Linus, and lights please)

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

That's it kids. The whole ball of wax, the kit and caboodle, the whole nine yards, the yin and the yang, the twist and the turn. It's why the Grinch rode back down the hill, why Scrooge bought the big turkey, why George Bailey's life was so wonderful, why Rudolph led the sleigh, why Emmit and his ma sang their songs, why Charlie Brown picked the tree, why Bing and Danny put on a show, and why Clark put up the lights.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

So my wish for all of you this year, in the words of my good friend Mr. Burl Ives...

Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It's the best time of the year. I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer. Have a holly, jolly Christmas; And when you walk down the street, Say Hello to friends you know and ev'ryone you meet. Oh, ho, the mistle-toe hung where you can see; Somebody waits for you; Kiss her once for me. Have a holly jolly Christmas, and in case you didn't hear, Oh by golly, have a holly, jolly Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas...

...Only 3 months until spring training


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