Do you like the thrill of competition? Is your idea of a thrill, racing through the shopping malls with just five days remaining until Ol' Saint Nick miraculously squeezes down the chimney. Seriously, how does a portly gentleman with a bag, mind you -- shimmy down into a tight space -- especially after all those cookies and milk? I hope they're using skim.

Anyways, while sitting in my kitchen Tuesday with the smell of holiday cookies wafting in the air -- I thought, thank goodness I completed my shopping online two weeks ago. For those of you who have not done it, gas up the car and load up on gift cards. If you ask my sister, shopping is a sport.

No, seriously, it is. Each store has coupons, sales, etc. to lure shoppers through its doors.

Gentlemen and ladies alike, if you have some last minute shopping -- Amazon does offer one day shipping. No lines to fight, no tricky parking lots to navigate, just the gift you want for that special someone. Now, while we are all in the holiday spirit, let's talk about what some of the local sports teams are hoping for in this season of giving.

Patriots fans, following the loss of Gronkowski a week ago at Cleveland, New England fans can only hope for a Christmas miracle in the form of a tight end.

And then there are the Bruins, who have Shawn Thornton feeling the almighty backhand of the National Hockey League.

Lucic was involved in a bar altercation in Vancouver.

Then, there is Thornton, who took down Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpick and hit him with a couple quick jabs.

The NHL issued "Thorty" a 15-game suspension, but he said Tuesday that he plans to appeal the league's decision.

What a Christmas gift it would be if both Thornton and Lucic won their appeals with the league.

Then there are the Celtics, who were graced with a top-caliber young head coach in Brad Stevhttp://www.groupon.com/deals/ice-castles-3ens.

Stevens may not be rolling out a whole host of NBA All-Star talent, but he is doing enough to keep the green in contention for a spot in the albeit weak Eastern Conference playoffs.

What a gift Stevens was to Celtics fans.

So, Boston sports fans, there are a whole host of things to be grateful for this holiday season.

Oh, and let's not forget that the local high school winter sports teams that recently started their respective seasons.

There are a couple of new additions to the local sports scene this season involving Groton-Dunstable and North Middlesex, who have both joined forces with Leominster to form a cooperative girls' ice hockey team. Also happening at Groton-Dunstable, the Crusaders are involved in a new wrestling cooperative with Leominster.

The Crusaders picked up their first ever wrestling victory in the 171-pound division as junior PJ Kendall defeated his opponent from Acton-Boxborough, 2-0, last Saturday.

Groton-Dunstable Athletic director Mike McCaffrey told me during the fall sports season that there had always been an interest in starting a wrestling program, and now it is here.

So, as you are making the rounds to the stores and making your final purchases, remember, what the holidays are all about.

Such as helping your fellow neighbor, spending time with family and college bowl games.

Sorry, I had to throw that in there.

Everyone knows there are plenty of them. At last count, there were 35.

So, my fellow couch dwellers, sit back, have a cup of cheer and enjoy some football. It only comes once a year. Happy Holidays, everyone from myself and my lovable mutt, Dozer.