It’s time for gifts (whether they want them or not)

Hello and Happy Holidays, and please don’t take that as an example of, “The War On Christmas!!!” any more than I take people wishing me “Merry Christmas” as, “The War on Hanukkah!!!” Because as a young Jewish boy, I associated all holidays with types of food, not religions, which explains why I went into a deep depression when my mother told me Easter wasn’t actually a day to commemorate God blessing us with jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, Peeps, peanut butter cups, and colored eggs (not to be confused with white Anglo-Saxon Protestant eggs, which are the only eggs allowed in Donald Trump’s house).

It’s Christmas! I loved Christmas a kid because even though we celebrated Hanukkah, for which I got presents, sometimes we also celebrated Christmas, for which I got presents and didn’t have to go to school.

But one thing has always bothered me: Why is there a song, “The 12 Days of Christmas?” when it’s only celebrated on one day? Last year I asked my wife, born the Catholic. She starting weaving some story about “Wise Men” and “Magi” and said, “The Russian-Orthodox have a different day for Christmas, and you would only know that if you grew up in a neighborhood that had Russian-Orthodox people, like I did in Pittsburgh.”

But by then my eyes had glazed over, and I was thinking about jelly beans again.

There is a Jewish conspiracy theory, formulated over Chinese food, of course, that the “12 Days of Christmas” were created just so Christmas could be longer than the eight nights of Hanukkah. This makes the most sense to me because, really, who’s going to be so desperate for presents that they give, “Three French Hens” or “Eight Maids A Milking” or “Nine Ladies Dancing”?

I mean, other than Rick Pitino during recruiting.

(Thank you, I’m here all week.)

OK. Enough theology. Time for the gifts:

Day 1: For Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez: 90 cleansing breaths. One for each loss next season.

Day 2: For John Coppolella and John Hart: You are the match and fuse of the Braves' roster detonation: So we give you a mirror to look at following any loss that you may even consider blaming on the manager. You'll have to share the mirror. I had two but traded one for a leftover scalpel from Tommy John surgery.

Day 3: For Liberty Media: A copy of "It's a Wonderful Life" and a Mr. Potter plush doll because given your ownership of the Braves' franchise, the backroom politics, the assault on Cobb County taxpayers and the slithering out of downtown, you've got Scrooge, Grinch and Snidely Whiplash written all over you. No worries: The stock price is up.

Day 4: For Thomas Dimitroff and Kyle Shanahan: You two sit off to the side for a best-of-seven series of rock-paper-scissors. Falcons owner Arthur Blank is going to need a sacrifice if he can't sell PSLs as a result of missing the playoffs this season. However, if you consider purchasing 10 PSLs each and purchase season tickets for the soccer team, he might look the other way and blame somebody in marketing.

Day 5: For Shanahan (you deserve two presents): A Ouija board so you can contact Roddy White — because you're convinced he exists only in the afterlife.

Day 6: For Steve Cannon, new CEO of Blank's AMB group: So let me get this straight: As CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, you helped negotiate the naming rights deal for Blank's new stadium, then you left Mercedes-Benz to work for Blank? Sweet. If you're up for a move to Bedford Falls, Mr. Potter has a spot for you at the Building and Loan.

Day 7: For Chipper Jones: Welcome back. Pick out a bat. And a position. And bring friends.

Day 8: For Rick Pitino: Assurances that your next recruiting budget will be distributed in $1 bills, just for convenience.

Day 9: For Kirby Smart: A DVD of your introductory news conference at Georgia, complete with applause from non-media members, and a set of 257 positive laminated stories about your hiring. You'll never be more popular than now because you haven't played a game yet, so consider this your Athens Self-Esteem Survival Kit. By the way, the Florida game is Oct. 29. No pressure.

Day 10: For Russ, the temporary mascot (Uga IX): Rest in peace, lil' doggy. Even grizzly bears and the strongest beasts from the animal kingdom could not have endured the number of on-field collapses you witnessed in the past few seasons and handled it with such dignity, let alone without any moonshine from the 300 level of Sanford Stadium.

Day 11: For Mark Richt: Another Tetanus shot because I'm not sure the one you got in Georgia is going to be strong enough for what you're about to be exposed to in Miami.

Day 12: 12 days isn't enough and I never write to budgeted length. Who's up for Chinese food?

Day 13: For Jacob Eason: A cape to complete your Superman outfit. No need to tell fans it's only a costume. A few weeks into the season they'll be blaming the offensive coordinator anyway.

Day 14: For Greg McGarity: Groucho glasses, complete with eyebrows and mustache. You might want to wear those around Athens for a while.

Day 15: For Paul Johnson: A case of herbal tea. Figured you might need it since you coached the only FBS program in the state of Georgia that didn't go to a bowl game. Actually, let's make it two cases.

Day 16: For Dan Quinn: Three dozen Jameis Winston bobblehead dolls for your defense to practice tackling before the next time the Falcons play Tampa Bay.

Day 17: For Hawks majority owner Tony Ressler: Hi, we're over here.

Day 18: For Danny Ferry: Another job. It's safe to assume you'll watch what you say on conference calls from now on. But a word of advice: Don't work for an ownership group in which one partner wants to run over the other with a tractor.

Day 19: For you, the readers: All of your dreams and wishes, especially if it makes for a good column. It's your praise and verbal assaults alike that keep me going. Peace.