Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Does Bryce Chase really dress up like Santa Claus and ride his bike around Princeton on Christmas Day?

Or was he just messing around when he told TigerBlog that before Princeton's 89-77 win over Bucknell in men's basketball Tuesday night? TB is going with yes, Bryce - the longest tenured member of the Princeton men's lacrosse program - really does do the pedaling-Santa thing.

Bryce was just one member of the Princeton Athletics family - the team around the team - in attendance Tuesday night. It was like one big party.

Princeton led by as many as 25 in the game. Freshman Devin Cannady led the way with 17 points, tying his season best and continuing to show himself to be a player with an incredibly bright future here.

So does Myles Stephens, another freshman. In fact, Princeton's top eight players consists of four juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. The future looks good.

So does the present. In fact, TigerBlog is looking forward to the Ivy League season, which starts after the new year and which will be a fairly competitive one, it appears.

But hey, let's get back to the real story for today. It's Christmas Eve.

The basic sentiment in the Princeton area has been that it doesn't seem like Christmas is closing in, largely because the weather suggests it's more like September or October. The calendar, though, does not lie.

Bryce, in addition to talking about his Santa-on-a-bike thing, also pointed out how the last game at Jadwin before Christmas a year ago was played on a freezing, icy, windy, awful night. Last night? Another no-jacket-required December day.

Still, it's Christmas Eve. 

Christmas is a federal holiday. Yes, its origins are with the birth of Jesus Christ, but at the same time, it's more than a Christian day.

Hey, Princeton Athletics doesn't stop for any other religious holiday other than Christmas. TigerBlog has been to games on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Easter, as well as during Ramadan, not to mention Thanksgiving, New Year's and any other time.

Christmas? TigerBlog presumes that the basketball teams would play in the right tournament over Christmas, but this year is like most. There are no athletic events between the game Tuesday night (the 22nd) and this coming Tuesday (the 29th), when both basketball teams, the men's hockey team and the wrestling team all compete.

Other than first semester finals, Princeton Athletics never shuts down for as long as it does for Christmas.

TigerBlog, who is Jewish, loves Christmas. He loves Christmas movies - the classics, and the cheesy Hallmark channel ones. And Christmas episodes of TV shows. And Christmas songs.

His favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life," especially the part at the end that always, always makes him tear up. You know, when Harry makes his toast for George. You can see it HERE.

"To my big brother George, the richest man in town." That always gets TB.

One of the best traditions this time of year is the 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" on TBS. The movie is hilarious, and it's really a series of unrelated scenes tied together loosely, which makes it perfect for checking in and out over the course of 24 hours.

Yeah, yeah, TigerBlog knows. He says the same thing about Christmas every year.

He posts the same links to the same clips. You know, like the one from "It's a Wonderful Life." And these:

* the end scene from "A Christmas Story"

* bonus scene from the same movie

* Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in "Meet Me In St. Louis"

* Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree

* you'll love this one

* you'll love this one too

There are others. TB will have these and more next year, he hopes.

At the same time, this year is a little different. It's an uneasy time, a difficult time on so many levels. It's a time of strife and war and terror.

But at the same time, hope.

That's the Christmas message. Maybe some day, one day, however improbably, there will be peace on Earth.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to you and your families and friends. 

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