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It’s time to celebrate the Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanza/ Festivus Holiday season, so all around Cinema Blend we’re enjoying Twelve Days of Christmas. Yes, we know traditionally the “12 days” start with Christmas, but we plan on being celebrated out by that time, so we’re pushing the twelve days leading up to the holiday.

Here in Blend Games we’re celebrating by counting down by reliving some of our favorite holiday gaming memories, in an effort to boost your Christmas spirit. There’s nothing quite like finding a new game console under the tree. So without further ado:

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Friends To Play With
. When my siblings and I were young, Christmas was very carefully mapped out. At nine o’clock (sometimes earlier if I was being particularly annoying that year), we would all file downstairs and take turns opening our presents for the next hour. After breakfast I would then run back upstairs clutching whatever video games I had found under the tree. Then I would play them for the rest of the afternoon, only reappearing when relatives arrived for dinner, and then quickly returning to my room. I felt a bit like the Howard Hughes of my house (though I probably wouldn’t understand that reference in my younger years).

It’s a solitary experience in an otherwise family-oriented holiday and it’s a reminder that gaming can be a secluded hobby sometimes. I’m the only gamer in my family and you can’t really give your sister a turn when you’re playing, say, Xenogears. Frankly, I always felt a bit guilty about it. Shouldn’t I be downstairs eating figgy pudding or something? I don’t have many gamer friends either so this felt like it was my own particular idiosyncrasy.

Over the past few years, though, the online gaming community has made me appreciate the fact that I’m not the only one who’d rather slink off after a holiday dinner to play a few rounds of Team Fortress 2 than make awkward conversation with relatives. Even reading the past few entries of CB Games’ “12 Days of Christmas” by other writers has been enlightening. We might all be off in our rooms alone playing a video game on Christmas Day but we’re bound by our shared experiences. We’ve all experienced the shock of unwrapping a video game for a new console before we unwrapped the new console next to it. A disturbing number of us thought Sega CD sounded like a good idea at the time. We eagerly awaited each installment of Mortal Kombat even when we knew the only difference between it and the previous game was that they added a ninja (Smoke, Rain, Chameleon, etc.).

Now with multiplayer gaming accessible for every major console, we’re never far from other games either. So next time you run upstairs to play a game in your room, remember you’re not alone – there’s a 14 year old in Omaha waiting to kick your ass in Halo 3.

Read all of Cinema Blend's 12 Days of Christmas features in other sections by clicking here.

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