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Merry Christmas!

Another year has come and almost gone, and its once again time to pause for family and celebrate the season.

Beaver Nation could use a couple of Christmas gifts, after a disappointing season that saw the men's basketball team's season end in a first round CBI loss, the baseball team being eliminated in the Corvallis Regional (though there was another Pac-12 Championship that preceded that and elevated Oregon St. to #1 in the nation, as well as All-American seasons by Michael Conforto and Ben Wetzler), and a football season that saw the Beavers come up a win short of becoming bowl eligible, after another disappointing stretch skid.

We did have the gifts of seeing Sean Mannion become the Pac-12's all-time passing yardage leader, and the upset win over then 6th ranked Arizona St.

But there have been some presents through the course of the season, many of which came from the women's basketball team that reached the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game, and then the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The ladies have picked up where they left off, running off an unprecedented 10 straight wins to start the season, including a road upset of North Carolina, which propelled them into the top 10 for the first time ever.

new men's basketball coach in Wayne Tinkle might prove to be an early Christmas present, as the rebuild is already ahead of schedule, and the Beavers are off to an 8-3 start.

Many Beaver fans see the arrival of new football coach Gary Andersen as the best present yet though, bringing future promise of modernized offense and defense.

And there are the gifts of new turf at Goss Stadium and the announcement of a rebuilt and expanded Valley Football Center, though that will be a 2016 gift.

As always, in victory or defeat, the best gift is always that we get to enjoy the sports we love, and enjoy each other's company, especially at the game, or associated tail-gater. (And every once in a while, a post-game meal before the early hours of the next morning!)

We at Buildingthedam.com are as always especially thankful for our Beavers, and our good fortune of getting to follow them, and also for our friends in Beaver Nation. May peace and happiness, family and fellowship, and a happy holiday season be the gift to Beavers everywhere! (And even those dreaded Ducks, who will perhaps bring a National Championship home for the conference, and hated Huskies! At least for a day.)

Have a safe and happy holiday, and of course, the remainder of the holiday bowl season (Christmas eve through the National Championship Game are still the best 2 weeks of the year!)!

Go Beavs!