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Volume 8, Issue 1                                    University of Houston
Christmas boils down to nothing but hot cocoa

Nerd Alert

Barrett Goldsmith

First, a quick sports roundup. 

Since most of the good free agents have already signed elsewhere, the Astros must now upgrade via trade. The Yao-less Rockets will try to keep their winning streak alive and climb back into contention. 

The Texans will have two chances to play themselves out of the Reggie Bush sweepstakes --though recent history would suggest a trade is the wiser choice, despite Bush's obvious potential -- and they will probably take both of them, making their failure complete. 

As for the UH basketball team, that dip into the Top 25 sure felt good, didn't it? I hope you guys enjoyed it, because it may take another 12 years to get back. And the football team is in the Fort Worth Bowl. Hold your applause. 

Christmas time is here at last, which means lots of holiday good cheer and very few available parking spaces. There seems to be a big debate about whether it's OK to say “Merry Christmas” publicly or in advertisements, because it offends somebody somewhere. The preferred slogan is something like “fulfilling holiday” or “seasonal enjoyment” or “hot cocoa.” 

On the flip side, some conservatives have suddenly become the defenders of Christmas, taking up the banner with the zeal and fervor that only true madness can bestow. They have criticized President Bush, of all people, for not explicitly referring to Christmas on the standard White House greeting cards sent out to literally millions of people every year. 

This of course poses the obvious question of how a bill becomes a law, but also makes one wonder if there might be a compromise. For example, President Bush will re-insert the word “Christmas” if anti-evolution fundamentalists explain the presence of fossils, preferably on live TV. 

As we get older, Christmas loses its magic and eventually becomes nothing more than a chore. Presents are no longer something to look forward to, they are items that must be acquired through a tortuous ritual. Where once we tried to fall asleep (but rarely could) so Santa could come down the chimney, now we get up at three o'clock in the dag-blame a.m. just to fill socks with useless crap and drink lukewarm, half-spoiled milk. 

But I guess Christmas is something more than that. Sure, my whole family hates Christmas, but we hate it together. We all sit by the fire, complaining about other relatives and picking up gift debris -- and we laugh. For reasons I won't get into, this holiday season will be a little different for us this year, but it will be the same in the only way that counts -- we will spend it together. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Season's Greetings and Hot Cocoa. 

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