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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 fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Never Too Old For Such Things

Some of my earliest Christmas memories are of sitting down with my family and playing our brand new NES. Well, they would sit playing. I was actually bouncing off the walls looking a lot like Mowgli the wild boy with my mop of black hair, bouncing up and down every time Mario would jump. Being the youngest of three boys – myself and the twins – it was always difficult knowing if I enjoyed something or I did it simply because that’s what was going on in the house, but video games are one of the things that I really did enjoy.

We weren’t exactly on the cutting edge of gaming; we were still playing Super Mario Bros. 3 when the SNES was competing with the Sega Genesis for dominance, but we enjoyed our games. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very cool to hang out with your brother who is three years younger than you so I always waited anxiously for Christmas day. Christmas day was special for our house in regards to video games. It was when the Nintendo was allowed to come upstairs and the family actually came together to play video games.

I would wait for my turn to play as the twins sailed through every level with ease. My parents watched amused when I got that long awaited turn because of my lively style of play, bobbing and weaving with the on-screen sprites. I suppose this made me ahead of my time. Something that made me different from my brothers was that I enjoyed lots of other games that wouldn’t get played until family game time was over but the NES was still upstairs. Some of the best Christmas nights were spent when the high energy games that kept my older brothers entertained were put away and I got to play the games that brought me down from the walls and into quiet, single player games. Or at least games I got to play alone.

Games like Little Nemo and much later EVO were played very calmly in comparison to the manic hopping and screeching induced by Mario and Samus while listening to whatever They Might Be Giants album we got for Christmas earlier in the day. These games with the deeper themes and wondrous designs kept me so enthralled that my parents would be just as entertained to see my eyes dancing over the screen taking in every little detail and exploring every corner of these 2D worlds while the snow would slowly fall from the cold, still Wisconsin night just outside. Maybe it wasn’t always that dramatic, but that’s how it felt to me.

We continued playing as a family every Christmas until the days of the PSOne when the twins were no longer as amused by games as they once had been. I continued playing in our basement and the family games stopped because we were deemed too old for such things and game time was replaced with talk of, what seemed to me, adult matters like what we were doing in school and eventually politics. Even though that was long ago, I still remember those Christmas nights that kept me playing video games years after I got “too old for such things.”

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

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