It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you haven’t finished your holiday shopping. With just a couple shopping days remaining before Christmas, it’s time to get those final gifts for the loved ones on your list.

In Boston, we love our sports. So here is the perfect gift for each of Boston’s teams:

The Patriots need a month’s supply of bubble wrap. Bill Belichick can use it to keep his top players under wraps until the playoffs arrive. The Pats have survived an incredible run of injuries this season and are once again AFC East champions. They are the best team in the conference and the odds-on favorite to be the AFC representative in Super Bowl 50.

Are they good enough to win the game? Not unless they are healthy. And just making it to the big game isn’t enough in the Belichick/Tom Brady Era. This team expects to win it all. They’ll need Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and the defense to be on the field playing in February to meet those expectations.

Speaking of bubble wrap, save a little for the Red Sox. Clay Buchholz needs to wrap himself up in it for the first half of 2016 so he can try to make it through an entire season without a trip to the disabled list for the first time in his career. Dave Dombrowski has done a nice job adding to the roster this fall, especially with the signing of starting pitcher David Price.

With Price at the top of the rotation, the rest of the starters should fall into place nicely. Especially if Buchholz is healthy. When he is, he has the stuff to be one of the best No. 2 pitchers in the league. If he’s not, you’ll be asking Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly to do a lot.


The Bruins have done a lot over the last few weeks. A team that was outside of the playoff picture just a month ago began the final full week of 2015 just one point out of first place. The perfect gift for the Bruins? How about a picture-perfect day on Jan. 1, with a huge national audience watching an outdoor battle for top spot in the Atlantic Division as the Bruins and Canadiens meet up in the Winter Classic.

The motto for this year’s Classic is “let’s take it outside.” Let’s have a little nastiness to this one. In a day when our sports rivalries are watered down and homogenized, there is a little genuine dislike between these two Original Six rivals. Playing before 68,000 fans at Gillette Stadium – more than a few of them wearing the bleu, blanc et rouge – these two teams could be meeting for divisional bragging rights in the most-watched game of the regular season.

A little snowfall during the second period would be nice, too.

For the Celtics, a nice helping of patience would make for a wonderful gift. Danny Ainge has put together a nice young team that has grabbed our attention earlier than expected. The double-overtime loss to the Warriors this month was the most-watched Celtics broadcast in two decades. With a handful of first-round picks in the coming seasons, Ainge is well-suited to build this team through the draft, or to use those picks to bring in established stars.

The patience to build through the draft won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. We saw how Ainge acquired veterans to build an unforgettable championship team in 2008. Yet that team could only win one title. Bring in the kids, and bring in more kids, and let’s have a team that can sustain success for years to come.

Of course, patience isn’t easy to come by this time of year. Here’s hoping you don’t get impatient waiting to open the gifts under your tree this year.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

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