How to Celebrate Christmas With a Tailgate Party in Oakland

Make the season bright at a Raiders tailgate (Credit, Kristina Ruiz-Healy)

Traditionally, we think of red, green and gold as the colors of Christmas. But for die-hard fans of the Oakland Raiders, silver and black dominate most any occasion. If you want to show your Raider pride and your holiday spirit while tailgating at Coliseum, consider adding these Christmas items to your pre-game setup.

Of course, what would Christmastime at the Coliseum be without gifts? For the December 16 home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, don’t forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots program. Marines will be on hand to collect toys and monetary donations in Raiderville, as well as at West Side Plaza, near the BART entrance and at gates A, B, C and D.

“Raider Nation is crazy and awesome,” backup quarterback Matt Leinart told during a Toys for Tots drive at Southland Mall in Hayward. “This year has been a tough year, I’m sure, for the fans to watch, but they’re still supporting us big time. They’re Raider Nation until they die, and no matter how tough the year is going or how good it’s going, they’re always here, always supporting the Raiders.”

Leinart said giving back during the holiday season is especially meaningful.

“I think Christmastime is always a special time,” Leinart said. “Through my own charity, I do a lot of stuff with giving back to kids and giving toys out. … Christmas is supposed to be about opening presents and watching the kids run around with new toys and stuff; that’s what we’re trying to help create.”

If you aren’t able to make it to the December 16 game, four Raider players – Marcel Reece, Brandon Myers, Miles Burris and Darren McFadden – will be signing autographs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 17 at The Raider Image store at Southland Mall in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy valued at $20 or more.

As for the best Christmas gift Raiders fans could receive, it would be victories for the rest of the 2012 season against the Chiefs (the final home game of the year), the Carolina Panthers and the San Diego Chargers.

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at

John Egan is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on

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