Does the enchantment in the air that make you want to scream in excitement, or have you gone down the path of a Scrooge in your old age?
The holiday season every year is a great time for both young and old gamers alike, with a multitude of shiny new systems and games being released. With all of these new gaming wonders that are about to be in the palms of our hands, we should also take a step back to reminisce about our beloved presents from years past. It’s in those past holiday seasons where most of my cherished gaming moments stem — the type of moments that I hope to one day pass on to my kids, and eventually their children.
*Like that moment when I opened my first ever Pokemon game and popped it into my new Game Boy Color and didn’t come back to reality until I had to go back to school.
*Or that “hilarious” moment when my mom decided to trick me by putting PSX games in a box that was in a box. That box was in another box, and THAT box was in much larger box to throw off my Batman-like detective skills. Thanks, Mom. <3
But the one memory I want to focus on in this article is what some would call a “game-changer” in regards to my gaming background: the year I got my Donkey Kong Country Super Nintendo bundle. Of course, the first SNES box I received from my family didn’t contain anything resembling a Super Nintendo and Donkey Kong Country, but rather it was stuffed with a few 3 lb. weights to trick me. I believe I’m starting to see a common theme amongst my family’s gift-giving practices…
After seeing the confused look on my face, I guess my family decided that I had taken enough abuse and handed me another present that was the same size as the one I just opened. Thankfully, this present contained a real Super Nintendo and a real copy of Donkey Kong Country.
I was ecstatic. This was the first console that was entirely my own, and it meant that I didn’t have to continuously sneak into my brother’s room just to play a video game. Although I loved playing my brother’s NES and Genesis (especially without his permission), I now had the video game equivalent of a young driver’s first car. I thought that the Donkey Kong Country SNES bundle was my last present, but I was wrong; my brother came around the corner to stop me from jumping around yelling “SUPER NINTENDOOOO!!!!!” (I was the original “Nintendo 64” kid) and told me that he had one present left for me to open. Since I wasn’t all that familiar with the size of boxed SNES games, I opened the present and my jaw dropped again.
There it was, Mega Man X in all its freakin’ glory!
My brother, knowing my complete obsession with Mega Man 2, gave me a game that to this day I still beat on a fairly regular basis almost two decades later. The one-two combo of Mega Man X and Donkey Kong Country left me in state of gaming nirvana for the remainder of that holiday vacation — a vivid memory that feels like it was literally yesterday. I’ve had quite a few big Christmas surprises throughout the years, but the year I got my SNES was one that did have a profound impact on me as a young gamer. My family didn’t have a lot of extra money growing up, so I feel as if this helped me appreciate moments like this a little more than some of the kids that went to school with me.
Gaming has always been a huge part of my life, and it will continue to be a large part of my adult life for the foreseeable future. I know I’m not the only one who has had amazing holiday experiences, and I would love to hear about them below in the comments! If you would rather share your favorite quotes from the Bill Murray classic, Scrooged, then that’s a-ok with me too. I hope all of you have a great holiday season and a happy new year!