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Jets homegating for the holidays

Our best tips for a festive game-day celebration.

NFL: DEC 24 Chargers at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The holiday season is a great time of year, but it presents challenges. Around the holidays, your routine changes. You might be around friends or family who don’t root for the Jets or even care about football. What do you do?

Fortunately Jets fans are spared from this to an extent this year. While most of the league will be playing on Christmas Eve, a Saturday, the Jets play the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. Even many of us who usually don’t enjoy Thursday Night Football are thankful this is when the Jets have drawn their game.

What do you do if your plans are altered? I actually might still have this dilemma as it looks like I have a family event scheduled for the Jets-Jaguars game.

In past years it wouldn’t be a big deal. The Jets were so bad that late-season games were only for draft positioning. It is almost a relief to have an excuse to miss a game in a lost season.

This year the late-season games will likely matter quite a bit.

Do you block off the three hours to just follow your normal routine? That is one option, but the holiday season only comes up once a year.

Do you try to avoid any mention of a game to try and watch a recording at a more convenient time? This can be easier said than done. I tried this earlier this season, and a friend sent me so many “non-spoiler” texts about the game that I had figured out what happened by piecing them together. (He found it hilarious when I told him I had figured it out.)

Do you watch the game with the extra people around who aren’t as invested? This approach has its pros and cons. You might enjoy the game with loved ones. You also might come off as crazy for how you react to events. You also might find yourself distracted and lose focus on the game.

You could also just understand the holidays come once a year and acknowledge you might just need to miss out on part of the game or not follow it with the same intensity. Even though these are late-season games with meaning, there are still two weeks in the season left after the holidays this year. These games might have significance, but it isn’t like you are missing the Jets play in the Super Bowl. There will be more important games going forward.

The holidays can give you a unique perspective if you are traveling. I got to experience my first West Coast NFL Sunday due to Christmas travel. It is pretty great to have the games kick off at 10 in the morning rather than needing to wait until the afternoon. It is also nice to have Sunday Night Football end at a reasonable hour and still have time to do something to enjoy the evening. None of this would have been possible without traveling for the holidays to visit family.

Of course a Jets win can make a holiday even better. A well-adjusted person would probably understand that a football loss shouldn’t ruin a holiday, but as football fans we aren’t always well adjusted.

The Jets have had a habit of ruining many holidays, none more famous than Christmas Eve 2011 when they lost to the Giants in a miserable game. Many believe the Jets franchise still is trying to recover from that game, although the success of Robert Saleh’s team this year is a sign things might finally be moving forward.