Have you seen the TV commercial where the guy walks in on his wife wrapping Christmas presents, only to discover that she’s wrapping up the same style and color of pajamas that he’s already wearing?

“The moment you realize you aren’t the most original gift giver” — the tagline says.

Well, here’s the thing. Sometimes the same gift every year isn’t such a bad thing.

For instance, with my Mom. For years — even decades — I’ve always given her a refrigerator magnet as a stocking stuffer, and the gift of a desk calendar filled with Bible verses. Those aren’t the only gifts we pass to Mom, but they’ve become something of a family tradition.

In kind of the same way, I’ve been distributing the same holiday gift to you, my friends in Newspaper Land, for 20 years now. Every Christmas, I craft a collection of sports-themed carols culled from the headlines of the year, and deliver it right to your doorstep. (Or, rather, your friendly neighborhood carrier does.) This is the 20th such edition here at the Trib, although the tradition dates back even further than that, as I wrote two such similar columns at my first newspaper job in Brenham.

Like it or lump it, you can’t return it. Sorry, I didn’t include a gift receipt.

But just remember — it’s the thought that counts.

Old Acquaintances Named Brady (Auld Lang Syne)

Should old quarterbacks be forgot,

And never left for dead?

If old quarterbacks are forgot,

Your win turns to dread.

And surely Birds will get a stop,

And surely I was lyin’,

They’ll hand a win to Brady yet,

While all fans crying.

I Heard the Balls on TV Say (I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day)

I heard the Balls on TV say,

Pops will refuse to go away,

And wild and sly their Dad lets fly,

A piece of trash, ill will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,

That Lonzo might just shut him up,

He rolled along the unbroken song,

A piece of trash, ill will to men.

And in despair, I clogged my ears,

There is no muting LaVar’s jeers,

For Pops is loud, and mocks the crowd,

A piece of trash, ill will to men.

Then bounced the Balls more high and deep,

Peace is not dead, you’ll still get sleep.

For thanks to God, Dad’s gone abroad,

Brings peace on earth, good will to men.

Bashing Through the Night (Jingle Bells)

Bashing through the night, in a one man gang-y way,

Over the fence ball flies, vapor trail it sprays,

Balls on bat make bang, making spirits bright,

What fun it is to stand and watch this hitting show tonight,

Aaron Judge, Aaron Judge, Aaron caught one fat,

O how fun it is to gaze at a giant with a bat.

Aaron Judge, Aaron Judge, Aaron hits ‘em high,

If the dude makes contact, you can kiss the ball good-bye.

An Ode to Money Mayweather (O Christmas Tree)

O Money Tree, O Money Tree,

How boring are your matches!

O Money Tree, O Money Tree,

How boring are your matches!

You make the green by dodging hurt,

Your next big punch will be your first,

O Money Tree, O Money Tree,

How boring are your matches!

Look! The Houston Astros’ Rings (Hark! The Herald Angel Sings)

Look! The Houston Astros’ rings,

Glory to the baseball kings!

Men on base and Jose smiled,

All those runners reconciled!

Joyful, all of H-Town cheers,

Cries a bunch of happy tears,

With a curveball from the ace,

Astros finally take their place!

Look! The Houston Astros’ rings,

Glory to the baseball kings!

Have you ever heard a sweeter tune in your life than that last one? I think not.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And go ‘Stros!

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