Friday Filler – I May Have Killed Christmas

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I am starting to suspect that the lack of a Christmas Event in TSTO may be my fault.  I know…I know…I’m just another blogger with an opinion. But, the correlation between game play and real life is starting to make me lose my freakinshirt!

This is the first year…ever…that there are some huge changes around my favorite holiday in our household…I mean huge.

Just like TSTO, “something is off” when it comes to tradition, and following any kind of regular schedule.  And like TSTO, we are waaaaaaay behind on checking the boxes for this year’s celebrations.

But, even more terrifying to someone like me, who loves Christmas, is that it is starting to feel like the boxes are not only not being checked…but are being removed by a power outside of my control!  It’s as if TSTO and life have suddenly changed, in ways that I never expected, nor really wanted! And, it may be MY FAULT!!

When you get to be my age, you start really diving into the “what is life all about?” questions that ultimately just open more questions than offering real answers.  Every time you think you have it figured out, you suddenly realize that you don’t…and life takes you down a road you never thought you would be running upon.

So it is with the holidays this year. Nothing is what it is “supposed to be.” And, I blame myself (and my wife).

Hold on….hear me out.  I know it is not cool to throw Deb under the bus, so to speak. But, of course, I would never actually do that…even though a city bus runs right down our street regularly.  In fact, it is that same city bus that makes note every year of our annual Christmas lights display…which for the past 30 years, has included my hand-crafted display of Pooh, Piglet, and friends.  It has been covered in the local paper…and people walking by always comment that they love the tradition, and count on it.

Christmas 2017

But, as I write this…our yard is bereft of any decorations. Why? Because most of them are buried under a giant heap of stuff that had to be moved to the storage shed, to make room for the giant remodeling job DEB is making me do. Yes. I am admitting it. I was fine with the house the way it was…mostly knowing what it was going to take to get her projects done.

But, I also admit, that I am enjoying the fruits of my labor…and am eager to complete it all before the holidays.

Which isn’t going to happen.  Trust me…it isn’t going to happen. Because she shifted the list…changed the focus to FINISH the kitchen, before I cleared the living room and did the flooring…which would have allowed her to decorate. 

But, before we go too far into a realm of digression from which we can’t return…let’s try to make sense of why I am taking the blame for the delay or perhaps outright cancellation of a Holiday Event in TSTO.

And…If there is any doubt of the delay…It’s the 6th of December, and this is still the opening screen. Why are there still turkeys?  Why is Homer still a pilgrim?  Why did they recycle the screen shot from last year (except for a couple of minor changes in the background)?

It’ like the game is dead and doesn’t know it.  But, it is likely not dead…but, as Miracle Max says in the Princess Bride (one of my all-time favorite movies), it’s just “Mostly Dead.”

But what is dead, and what is “mostly dead?” And aren’t we all just as much “mostly dead” as we are “mostly alive” as we spend almost a third of our lives sleeping? But, I digress…

As I have mentioned before, after an NDE in the mid-1990s, I stared delving deeply into the topic,  “what is reality?”  I won’t go into my conclusions now…but, was surprised to read that there is a fairly strong case in theoretic physics, that one of two things could be true.

One, is that everything we experience is just a computer simulation, being essentially created by each individual. This isn’t as far-fetched as one would believe. This article in 2012, lays out a pretty interesting set of university-funded studies that seem to support this idea. 

It’s pretty intriguing…but, coming from the University of Washington, our avowed enemies in the Pac 12 (yes they stink this year, and their coach just resigned), I have to discount it. Sorry, but that Dawg don’t hunt!

However…the general idea seems to have traction, especially if you read recent articles on the topic, including this one from Forbes magazine. 

I think it has more  substance than the U of W one…because Forbes doesn’t have a football team, and is certainly not in the Pac 12…which is as a good a reason as any for my next bit of logic.

I killed Christmas and the TSTO Holiday Update…

Let’s get back to the things we aren’t doing this year…which are benchmarks of the Holiday tradition.

We are not putting up a tree. As Deb argued, the kids aren’t coming home this year, nobody is going to see it, and it takes hours to decorate, and the living room is full of construction material for the flooring (that she delayed).  OK. I get it. She’s right. No tree.

We are not decorating the house. (see the italics in the paragraph above for the same reason). Even though we have loads and loads of traditional decorations, including Deb’s huge snowman collection, a ton of Christmas-themed balance toys, and loads and loads of garland, we are not putting up any of it.

We are not going to be here for Christmas. That’s right. We are going to be in Portland with Maddy and Josh for Christmas…and then we flying out to New Orleans the next day, for a week…to celebrate Deb’s 60th birthday, and my 66th birthday, with  a bunch of the kids. A first. Fun. But, kinda weird. No birthday football (I’m a New Year’s baby). No traditional meal of hamburgers and potato salad (Deb’s is the best ever).  And no reason to look for snow. We’re going to be going to haunted mansions, Bourbon St. and reasons to don beads.

How does this have anything to do with TSTO???

Come on. Pay attention. If we are indeed living inside of a computer simulation, then my reality, may very well be the only reality that matters (at least to me). And in my reality, Christmas just isn’t really coming.

As it pertains to the game…Thanksgiving was late. Black Friday was lame. And, Christmas (snow, holiday lights, etc) didn’t come. There is no denying any of this.

But, as a test…just to see if my actions really do have any bearing on reality…I’m going to push the plunger…and turn on all of the Holiday Lights in my town. Snow or no snow (and don’t get me started on the weird weather this year), I’m going to buck the system…and bring the Holidays to my town.

AND… like it or not, I am going to defy Mrs. Miller…and put up Pooh and Piglet (I’ll update this post with photo proof later this weekend), with at least a few Christmas lights, so the good people of Eugene, will know we are still living here.

Will it be enough to bring about an update in TSTO???

Let’s find out.

TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS!!!   Defy EA and the Grinches at Gracie!  BRING ON THE UPDATE!! 

And…while your “hitting your Holiday Plunger,” to trigger Christmas in your town,  OPEN UP YOUR HEARTS (and wallets) to Help Us Over The Top for our kids in Uganda!

We’re getting there…but, not there yet!

Just 15 of you have generously brought is this far…
Will you add your name to the list to help us reach our goal?


And, have yourself a very UnChristmas!

OK… I caved to the guilt and pressure from tradition…
Pooh, Piglet and Friends are up… Bring on the Snow!

71 responses to “Friday Filler – I May Have Killed Christmas

  1. I read this late and am so glad I did. I’m a sukr for special traditions and just wanted to say that I’m glad to see that Pooh et al r back up, even if you won’t be home for Christmas.

  2. Our lives are so busy currently that we have not decorated for Christmas either. My wedding is in two weeks and then my daughter passed away last Sunday. Between those two events, Christmas is one of the last things on my list of things to ponder, even though it is one of my favorite holidays. It is going to be hard this year without her. TBH I have not touched my game since last Saturday.

  3. “The longer you live in New Orleans, the more unfit it makes you to live anywhere else” We heard that last year there celebrating a friends 60th. What is it about turning 60 and NOLA? Love that place, couldn’t live there but man we love to visit! I forget if you two have been there before but for my 2 cents Emeril’s has the best pork chops on the planet and worth every penny while Coops Place on Decatur is a local favorite and after a couple of more visits will have eaten our way through the menu. After many days of heavy rains we are starting to decorate for Christmas. My mother-in-law is coming Jan 2nd so we’re in no rush but it’s exciting since this our 1st time here in our new house. Glad to read Winnie the Pooh and friends will once again be a part of an Eugene tradition!

    • This is our first trip…so we have once again over-scheduled. WWII museum, ghost tour, dueling pianos, riverboat, and most every night on bourbon street. We will “stay in on NY Day to watch the Rose Bowl.” Gonna be a hoot! Will check out your suggestions.

      • Your ghost tour will probably stop at Hotel Provincial where we have stayed. Nothing unworldly happened to us in fact we felt bad for the tours that would pass by. One night we took the sheets off the bed, put them over our heads and sat on the balcony.

  4. The 12 Days of Christmas? Starting Wednesday? Twelve dooooonuts for free, eleven Barneys belching , ten Lennys leaping, nine Carls dancing, eight Moes a-milking, seven Selmas smoking, six Flanders praying, fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive gooooooolden coins. four crawling nerds, three-eyed fish, two special Ralphs, and Maggie In a snuggie

  5. Lol, I have seen this before with apps, if TSTO was making money they would update like mad. Give EA credit, they have been dropping hints that this may be shutting down. They will wait until many get bored and quit and they will only have to deal with the few left. As far as people decorating their real houses, no where in history have we had so much stuff to decorate with. Maybe we are just going back to the way it was or many of you are getting older and Christmas is not like you remembered so you have lost the motivation.

    • “or you are getting older and Christmas is not like you remembered so you have lost the motivation????”

      Or…like I WROTE…many of us aren’t going to be home for most of the holidays…so decorating just to leave an empty house seems like a ridiculous waste of time…which by the way, is the most valuable asset for people who are “older.”


  6. Patric, there will, most likely, be a Christmas/Winter update for TSTO this year. It’s just probably going to be late on when it hits the servers.

    If you, even remotely, have anything to do with why the update is late, it would be because EA is using TSTO to mess with your mind. And it would not surprise me if EA was trying to do that to all of us TSTO players.

  7. I feel you on some cosmic shift for holidays. My family just doesn’t celebrate we used to. My grandfather and grandmother always hosted Christmas and when my grandfather passed, that tradition fell to my eldest aunt. Now with the passing of a different beloved aunt it appears the magic was taken with her. She was always festive, had holiday crafts for the kids each year, and kept the family together with our homemade chocolate covered cherries each December. It was not until her passing the family realized she was the glue that kept us a family. Now everyone is grown and doing their own thing with their own families and poof, just like that, the three plus decades of traditions and get togethers just vanished. My family unit is just my father living with me and my daughter living with her mom. Holidays just feel like regular days and because of that I too need that snow and Christmas in my TSTO because that holiday magic from the real world isn’t what it used to be.

    • There is no doubt that traditions are often tied to the people who originate them. My hope is that your family can find some “new glue,” and create some new ones.

  8. Tracy-1ltwoody920

    Ducks won
    Patric is happy
    Twenty years ago Lisa loaned her parents our two foot tall fiber optic tree as they were heading out of town and didn’t want to put up their six foot tree.
    We never got our tree back.
    But y’all can put up a small tree – just don’t borrow one from YOUR daughter.

  9. Aw. You can blame me. I never decorate. The cats would just undecorate right away. The same cats who keep having absolutely nothing to say at midnight on Christmas Eve when non-human animals are supposed to talk. They even sleep right through it sometimes. I don’t know if this means they are satisfied with my work as their servant or if they think I am too hopeless for a conversation.

    And I keep my Christmas lights up in Springfield all year round. That’s why no snow yet. I am the one who has interfered with the cosmos, obviously.

    You could get tiny Christmas trees to decorate with teeny ornaments or just beads and scatter them around the house if it will make you feel better. Maybe you can even get teeny tiny strings of lights. The lights are the best part anyway. Forget about the rest of your yearly extravaganza and just string lights all over your yard and keep them up until maybe June. Snow and darkness should be gone by then. That is how it should be. None of this tearing down the lights while we are walking around with flashlights before dinner.

  10. Well Here’s hoping..One of Fav openers

  11. “Have fun schtorming the castle boys!”
    That movie’s awesome.

  12. Thank you for the musings Patrick! I don’t think it’s necessarily your fault, as the season seems off all around. I feel as even if we don’t get a Christmas gift this year from EA Claus, I personally may have bitten off more than I can chew. I made an attempt to farm enough donuts to come into possession all of the items in the multiple boxes offered during this last event. Needless to say, my Homer will be doing his projects well into after the first of the year…

    I do think it’s funny that they tried to work around the bonut earning folks like me by bringing back the coins. I feel as if that might be a recurring currency if they plan to keep the game funded.

    It’ll be interesting to see the future event setups.

    Happy Firday!

    • I would agree with you on the coins…except they had no real teethe. You only needed the coins to get stuff that was old, and really not wanted, and many people didn’t even have a Gold Box, as they already had all of the potential items. So, EA really didn’t make much of a statement, except “we didn’t think this through.”

  13. Go Ducks!

  14. For the love of god…at least pull the thanksgiving load screen

  15. I can’t got the life of me find where I put my Christmas plunger. I hope if they actually come out with an event that it involves finding it haha.

  16. Leave it to a Duck to kill Christmas. Haw Haw! Go Dawgs.

    • LOL! It has been a weird year. So much hype…all to see it crushed with a crappy game with Arizona State. It is even weirder with the playoff game today… we either want to win, or lose big. Nothing in between. Winning…we go to the Rose Bowl. Lose Big, Utah has a chance to get into the playoffs, and we go to the Rose Bowl. Close game? And we likely play the Alamo bowl.


  17. This year the events have been lame. I am feeling like the time to delete the app is soon

    • It is interesting… but the easier to just play randomly the game becomes, the more inclined I am to keep it. It’s easy. It provides a few laughs…doesn’t cost anything. So…no need to delete for me. I get what I put into it.

  18. I hope they offer Christmas lights on the houses this year. I have never bought a single one, and the year after they offered them, I had the 🍩, but they stopped offering them.

    I am not hopeful after the Black Friday sale, but maybe there will be a Christmas miracle.

  19. Could we be getting Hanukah finally? (that would be a great Mini-Event fun!) 🤔

  20. It’s snowing here in Toronto too! 🇨🇦 ❄️ ⛄️. It would be so nice if the Christmas event started at the beginning of December so we could enjoy the update while we are all thinking of Christmas. Nothing worse than completing Christmas events AFTER the holidays are over!

    Felt the same way for the Halloween update too! Am I so out of touch? No it’s the children who are wrong!

  21. I guest heckling EA on Twitter and Facebook was too harsh? (yeah they earned it!)😂

    I admire Deb’s logic, I deal with an HOA that doesn’t like any holiday decorations showing in the front (that’s why it’s happy hour at Sam’s Town Mystic Falls for our family). ♥️

    Be Festive Tappers / don’t forget to Volunteer 😉

  22. As soon as my iPad has some life in it this morning – I am pushing the plunger! We have snow here in Saskatoon Canada – and I want Christmas! 🙂

  23. … hm.. maybe EA is doing the Christian thing and NOT doing a pagan holiday this time of year… or maybe Electricity is going up and lights need to stay off, to save some cents, in real life.. OR maybe EA is waiting for the Episode to come out first and THEN do the update, that way all the content they have will make sense and be canon.. and possibly as a last idea, the game crashes and we all go back to rebooting and starting over from scratch because ‘god’s I.T ‘ forgot to do a back up on the server…. anyways… I hate the snow/cold in my “real” life town where I live… I miss California weather, people. life… If life is a virtual game, please remove “winter” program..

    • Hahaha! Oh…that it would be so easy. I have said for decades, if I had my way, it would rain at night and be sunny during the day. Best of both worlds. We would have three days of snow, and everyone would get work and school off to play. But then we’d be done with it. Is that so much to ask?

  24. Mind blown 🤯. My lights went on the day after Thanksgiving and I’m pretty sure Springfield has been transported to Florida. 😞. But, your fault? 🤷‍♀️

  25. I had similar thoughts (only with regard to hitting the plunger) and did it this am shortly before reading your article. 🙂

  26. Glad I am not the only bringing Christmas to my town. My lights went on the 1st Dec in tsto and outside my house a few days later (cant do inside as we are re doing it as well definitely resembles a building site ). I dont see why a mini update cant be done to turn our little towns white come on ea

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