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Jonebone Mystery Box Holiday Giveaway! - Just Post An Xmas Gaming Story


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Happy Holidays to all! I hope 2019 has been good to you as 2020 approaches.  I have a random mystery box for someone... Nothing too extravagant, but lots of random odds and ends, carts, boxes, manuals, promo things, etc. and maybe $80-$100 in value.  Free giveaway!

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To enter:
1 - Be a VGS member with a join date before today.
2 - Have a shipping address in the USA or Canada.
3 - Post in this thread with a Christmas gaming story!  As short or as long as you like! 
4 - 1 Entry per person.

I'm not sure of the exact time of the draw, but I'll close entries at 12PM EST time on this Sunday December 22nd or after 100 entries, whichever comes first.  I'll do the draw sometime that afternoon or evening. I'll assign everyone a number and do a simple randomized number from Random.Org and post the screenshot.  

I think that should cover it, feel free to ask any questions?

My Story:

Christmas of 1996.  N64 came out that year but I asked for a PS1 at Christmas.  I heard the N64s were selling out everywhere, and while Mario seemed pretty fun at the Blockbuster where I played it, I was willing to give Sony a chance.  A friend had Twisted Metal and a PS1 and I enjoyed playing that at his house.

Low and behold, I woke up to an N64 and Mario 64 on Xmas.  It was a state of bewilderment.  I was mentally prepared for PS1 and that's what I put on my Xmas list.  Yet I quickly got over it as I hooked up the N64 and Mario in the living room... something I had never been allowed to do (consoles were always on the TV in my room).  Thoroughly enjoyed it all Winter break from school and never looked back.  Great memory I'll always have!

Share your stories and Happy Holidays VGS!

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Reserved for list of Entrants:

1 Scrobins
2 PineappleLawnchair
3 Reed Rothchild
4 Splain
5 DefaultGen
6 Munkey
7 darkchylde28
8 RH
9 a3quit4s
10 Boosted52405
11 Sign Collector Guy
12 Richardhead
13 Andy_Bogomil
14 Deadeye
15 broncofantd793
16 AstralSoul13
17 Nugfish
18 JamesRobot
19 m308gunner
20 Rooster
21 Fleck586
22 zombiemicrowave
23 SuperJimtendo
24 8-bit_boice
25 drxandy
26 arnpoly
27 Gutling
28 Bearcat-Doug
29 OxDEAFC0DE
30 WalterWhiteJr.
31 Velvet_the_Elf
32 Katchii
33 oshf
34 Zbomber
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Homebrew Team · Posted

Thanks for making this offer!

I don’t remember the year, definitely late 90s. I had finally beaten Dragon Warrior awhile ago and had experienced the high and low of learning that sequels existed for the NES but well beyond what I could afford with the coin I collected off the ground or what my parents were willing to spend on video games for me. That Christmas morning I picked up a gift and I could just tell from the size, shape, and weight if it that it was a game. I tore through the wrapper and found Dragon Warrior 2! I burst up from the floor and could hardly wait for my family to be done opening the rest of our gifts so I could run into the family room and play my new game pretty much nonstop until I was called for dinner.

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Back in 2003 i remember bugging my dad up and down for a Gamecube, because they were both $99 and came with Zelda. Didn't seem at all like he was interested. When christmas rolled around though, i started noticing a suspiciously large box  and a ton of other presents suddenly showing up under christmas tree. So i take a peak, juuuuuust a quick peak and lo and behold, it was the Zelda GC, come Christmas time, i found out, it also came with Luigi's Mansion, Spongebob Battle for Bikini Bottom AND a Gameboy Player(I think also an RF adapter). Easily one of the best christmas' ever.

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Editorials Team · Posted

Christmas of 1998

My mom surprised me with a trip to Target.  We head to the electronics section where she drops the bomb by asking me to pick a console.  I was shellshocked, since my parents were divorced, and she was a nurse with a mortgage; not a lot of extra spending money.

Obviously the options at this point were the "Dual Shock" PS1 package, or the N64 with atomic purple.  I was well versed in both platforms at that point so it was a hard decision.  Did I want to play Mario 64, OoT, GoldenEye and Rogue Squadron, or Metal Gear Solid, FFVII, and Xenogears?

I went with the N64.

And then it sat, unwrapped, under the tree for a month.  It was torture - looking at it sitting there, taunting me.  

Christmas day finally arrived and I got Star Fox 64 from my brother's dad.  I also got OoT from my mom on a separate Target trip where I got to pick a game (we must have done that a few days before Christmas, but I can't recall for sure).  I was in Nirvana with those two games, arguably still the best two on the system.

I dunno how many times I played through both games in the next two months, but it was a lot.  Somehow my mother conned my grandma into getting me GoldenEye for Valentine's Day, and Turok 2 for Easter (while my sister got Mario Kart).  The only such gifts I can ever remember for those holidays.

I eventually got a PS1 years later, and nowadays I'm not so high on the N64 anymore.  But man what a break that was.

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Editorials Team · Posted

Also a 1996 N64 story:

I had a Game Boy and a Nintendo Power subscription, and Christmas was beginning to roll around. My sisters and I were naughty, and we tried snooping for presents in all the usual places. I found a boxed SNES in November, and I was stoked. It would have been nice to get an N64, but I already knew what games I'd want to play for SNES. I told all my friends I was getting one. On the big day, there was an N64 with Mario, and not a SNES! I was very surprised, but I didn't want to tell my parents why it was such a surprise, lol. Finally my mom told me she had originally bought a SNES, but realized it would be a "step backwards" and returned it. I put on my best "surprised" face. It might have helped that I was watching the N64 promotional VHS about 90 times a day. My dear mom had stood in line in the morning on Black Friday to get me an N64. She says it wasn't too bad, not like it is today.

My sisters got VHS tapes (Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, I remember them clearly lol) for Christmas, so we had to learn how to share the TV on Christmas. I was outnumbered but they were nice about it. I remember playing Kirby's Block Ball on GB while I waited for them to finish each tape. Imagine my dismay when I found out they wanted to watch them all over again.

Thanks Jone!

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Christmas of 1993 I am on home video saying "We got a Sega". That's the story.

I watched hours, HOURS of home video. A huge box of mini DV tapes recording my family's entire life and especially every Christmas. I've seen all these great clips on Youtube of people opening their favorite consoles, their favorite games, kids flipping out with excitement, hooking the system up, playing for the first time. Of course I have all of these memories too. After combing through every family home video, I found two clips related to video games. Once a shot pans over a room of relatives playing Super Mario Bros. for about 3 seconds. And the crown jewel of my efforts was me partially in frame for 2 seconds and saying "We got a Sega".

My parents recorded every moment of every gift under the tree every year, but would nearly always hide the video games so I wouldn't be distracted while opening my socks and sweaters. By the time it came for the traditional pretend there were no video game presents, they shut off the camera and fetched the best goodies from the garage or closet or wherever. And so my casual comment that I got a Sega Genesis is my only recorded Christmas gaming memory.

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One particular comes to mind can't quite remember the year but my sister worked at a K-mart (over in East Tn a good 2hr drive away one way) for several years (manger) and me and my mother had come to visit her and she happened to be working that day (fixing to get end her shift) and I was nosing around the electronics and seen a bunch of reduced priced snes games (like $20 down to $15 each) well she just happened to ask what one I would like and I may have taken forever as there was a lot to choose from (like 10 or 12 out of I would guess 20 or more) and I finally selected one (which I personally bought but she got a discount so got it even less) well fast forward to Christmas Day that year I had gotten a rather large package from my sister and I kid you not she sent me one of EVERY that was under the glass I was looking at minus the one I bought (so like at least 10 games amongst some other things she had sent I was totally floored ( years later I think I presumed this was a team effort between my sister and my mom as it was easy a good $100 worth of games) I played those games for hours all though Christmas break. 

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Christmas of 1989, the year I finally got my own NES.

I'd asked my parents for one each year since a friend had gotten a test market set, but up until that point, my parents either couldn't find one or couldn't afford it.  A few weeks or months prior, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and, when I again said an NES, instead of just nodding and asking "Anything else?", she asked what I would want to play on it if I actually got one, somewhat cluing me in to how things would likely go down.

Christmas morning I woke up incredibly early, snuck into the living room, and saw a large shape that looked like it should be an NES sitting behind everything.  Instead of pestering my parents to wake up and get the show on the road, I actually went back to my room and tried to get back to sleep, letting them wake up and get moving on their own time, both because I knew my wait was pretty much over and another couple of hours or so wouldn't matter as well as figuring that I'd be able to hog the TV for most, if not all, of the day if I let them sleep as long as they wanted and get up in a good mood.  I didn't have too much longer to wait, maybe half an hour or an hour, before I heard my mom wake up, head to the bathroom, then putter into the kitchen to put on coffee.  As soon as you could smell it through the house, she came into my room to gently shake me and tell me to get up and go wake everybody else up.

I figured I would likely get the system but wasn't counting on anything else, although one of the two games I named when asked crossed my mind as a possibility.  As it turned out, not only did my parents make sure I got the system I wanted as well as both games I'd asked for, they made sure to fill out the rest of the space under the tree, as they thought it wasn't right that I only get 2-3 things for Christmas, regardless of what they cost.  At the moment I didn't really appreciate it, wondering why they bothered with things like a gumball machine, a bag of candy that I liked, etc., but as an adult, now with kids of my own, I tear up at the thoughtfulness of it as well as how much further it must have stretched them thin after shelling out $150 for my Action Set, plus at least $60 each for the two games I wanted (Mega Man 2 & Strider, for the curious).

After getting through everybody unwrapping everything, I asked if I could connect my system up to the TV, got the ok, then surprised everyone by already knowing how to hook things up, having gotten very familiar with friends' systems for several years already.  The first thing I did was throw in Mega Man 2 and play all the way through to the end before switching over to Strider.  My mom was initially upset, thinking they'd done a bad job buying me what I'd asked for, since I flew through the game fairly quickly and let the credits roll while breaking my other game out of its packaging.  It took a few minutes of reassuring her that I'd gotten exactly what I'd wanted and that while I hadn't beaten it while at friends' houses, I'd played quite a lot of it since it was a popular rental for us and just never got enough turns (or one timed correctly) to actually make it to and through the end of the game.  From that point, with my parents sitting there watching me and shouting out, trying to help whenever they could, I played all the way through Strider, save for beating the next to last boss.  Fun fact--it wasn't until a year or two ago that I actually beat that game, as I never could figure out how to actually hit Matic (or if I even was), and finally stumbled across a guide that spelled out the fact that you need to use the energy attack to disarm him and then wail on him before he picks his cipher back up.  After getting stuck there, I threw in Mega Man 2 and beat it again before putting in SMB/Duck Hunt and ending up closing out the evening with my dad and I taking turns shooting ducks and clay pigeons.

There were a couple more "Nintendo" Christmases after that (I ended up with a Game Boy and a game the next year and a system-only SNES set and a game the year after), but this was the most memorable.

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Member · Posted

Back in the 90s, historically, my Dad would get me a gift that was valued around $50.  He didn't have a lot of money and between my brother and I, $100 was a lot.  In 1996, I had had a tough time finding Shadows of the Empire anywhere, and when I spotted it in a JC Penny for $70, it was over priced, but I flipped out because I'd wanted it ever since I first heard about it's development.  My Dad saw how excited I was and bought it with out question...

..which is why in 1997, I had no clue what my Dad would get.  I knew he had spent more than usual the year before, so I wasn't expecting much.  As much as I had wanted SotE the year before, 1997 was the year FF VII came out.  I really, really wanted that game.  I ended up buying the strategy guide before I had that game OR a PlayStation.  I read it cover to cover, and I happened to talk to a guy at school who had bought FF VII, but didn't have a memory card, so he sold it to me $10 under retail.  It was awesome.

I was saving up, patiently, to be able to afford a PS1 and I asked everyone to give me cash for Christmas, rather than a gift.  I didn't expect to be able to afford one after Christmas, but I thought I'd get close.  Anyway, I went over to my Dad's house on late-Christmas day, and I opened my first gift, and it was Rebel Assault II for the PS1.  My dad said that I liked the Star Wars game so much last year, he thought I'd like that one too. I told him thanks and awkwardly told him I wanted a PS1 but didn't own one. I had an N64 and the game he had gotten me previously was for that system.

He kind of let it hang for a while, and then asked me to come to his car.  He popped the trunk and just like the brief case in Pulp Fiction, shining like a beacon was a PlayStation!

It's honestly the best Christmas memory that I have.  My Dad surprised me and spent WAY more than he typically would and we had a fun evening playing Rebel Assault II and the included demo disc!

Edited by RH
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Mom and dad separated and I lived with dad for for a few years, the first year I went to live with mom was 1996, for Christmas the next year Dad surprised with me with Nintendo 64. All my friends already had it and were playing Goldeneye and I probably told him how much I liked it. We never had a lot of money so for him to be able to buy me one meant a lot. He was sad because he wasn’t able to find goldeneye so he got me Hexen and Duke Nukem (the first one) and I told him it was perfect! Duke Nukem ended up being awesome and I actually lent it to my friend who lent me goldeneye (after I beat it). Never really got the hang of Hexen. Maybe I’ll give it another go on Christmas. Thanks Dad! Fun fact he got me an awesome bicycle the first Xmas I lived with mom, a GT Performer, that got stolen a few months later. 

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One of my fondest memories was spending time with my rather-spoiled cousin, whom got a N64 and a WCW/NWO Revenge for Xmas.  However, given his spoiledness, his Dad gave it to him before Xmas to let him play - huge victory for us!

It was epic.

We were huge into wrestling and legitimately played that game inside and out day and night, my Grandma had to force us to go to bed sort of thing.  Our hands hurt from spinning the joysticks lol but it was a great time.  We then begged my Grandma to take us to the local video store to rent another game, had many of those trips turn out as duds for games.  Later we also got obsessive with SWSOTE - fun times.

WCW/NWO Revenge is still my favorite THQ wrasslin game for N64 (but No Mercy is damn good too).

P.S. - this is very kind Jone!

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6 minutes ago, Boosted52405 said:

One of my fondest memories was spending time with my rather-spoiled cousin, whom got a N64 and a WCW/NWO Revenge for Xmas.  However, given his spoiledness, his Dad gave it to him before Xmas to let him play - huge victory for us!

It was epic.

We were huge into wrestling and legitimately played that game inside and out day and night, my Grandma had to force us to go to bed sort of thing.  Our hands hurt from spinning the joysticks lol but it was a great time.  We then begged my Grandma to take us to the local video store to rent another game, had many of those trips turn out as duds for games.  Later we also got obsessive with SWSOTE - fun times.

WCW/NWO Revenge is still my favorite THQ wrasslin game for N64 (but No Mercy is damn good too).

P.S. - this is very kind Jone!

If you follow me on IG @jonebone7 I actually am giving away a Wata graded 9.0 A+ sealed WCW NWO Revenge, funny you should mention it.  One giveaway here for VGS one giveaway there for IG.  

One of my fave games as a kid too!

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1 minute ago, jonebone said:

If you follow me on IG @jonebone7 I actually am giving away a Wata graded 9.0 A+ sealed WCW NWO Revenge, funny you should mention it.  One giveaway here for VGS one giveaway there for IG.  

One of my fave games as a kid too!

Yeah not to stray off topic but even if you weren’t a fan of wrestling the WCW vs NWO games were a blast with four players. Just grabbing chairs from the audience was awesome and the controls were super efficient and easy to learn.

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It was Early December 1991. I was 11 years old. Some presents were already under the tree. One of them I was pretty certain was a Super Nintendo.

Long story short I was home alone one day long before Christmas Day and opened it and played it for a bit then carefully wrapped it back up and pretended to be surprised on Christmas morning.

I will show myself out......................

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Got a 64 in '96 and it was definitely the most excited I've ever been for a present. Wasn't 100% sure we were gonna get one and my parents kept it aside until everything else was open. The only downfall was after all the excitement was over we realized we didn't have any games to play! Every single 64 game was rented out at the local rental shop so we had to wait until later in the night when we eventually got Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey as I think it was the only game to get returned that day.

If I win the draw you can auction it off here and give the proceeds to VGS.

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Homebrew Team · Posted

Didn't come from a family with a lot of money to go around, but one year my mom asked if I wanted a new video game system to upgrade from the NES.  She handed me the Sears? catalog and asked me to pick out a system and two games.  Christmas 1996 with a Playstation, Crash Bandicoot, and Twisted Metal 2 was great.  I was very surprised by the large $ purchase and how I lucked out with the completely random choice of games.  Still my two favorite games for PS1.

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2 minutes ago, Deadeye said:

Didn't come from a family with a lot of money to go around, but one year my mom asked if I wanted a new video game system to upgrade from the NES.  She handed me the Sears? catalog and asked me to pick out a system and two games.  Christmas 1996 with a Playstation, Crash Bandicoot, and Twisted Metal 2 was great.  I was very surprised by the large $ purchase and how I lucked out with the completely random choice of games.  Still my two favorite games for PS1.

Good tastes, TM2 is my fave PS1 game all-time as well!

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43 minutes ago, Sign Collector Guy said:

It was Early December 1991. I was 11 years old. Some presents were already under the tree. One of them I was pretty certain was a Super Nintendo.

Long story short I was home alone one day long before Christmas Day and opened it and played it for a bit then carefully wrapped it back up and pretended to be surprised on Christmas morning.

I will show myself out......................

Not gaming related, but in a similar vein...

One year while I was still a kid (I want to say 9, but definitely before 11) my aunt came down for Christmas.  By that point I'd gotten most of my Christmas shopping done and figured that there would be time to finish up what odds and ends I had left.  Cue Christmas Eve at around 5-6 PM and me sitting down to organize all the gifts I'd picked up (ie: I'd picked out and my parents had paid for) for everyone and wrap them, only to realize that somehow that nagging bit of Christmas shopping that nobody ever took me out to do included getting a gift for my mother.  Horrified, I called every store in the area to see if any place was still open and couldn't get an answer, until Walmart.  Only, it was the security staff who were on-hand to watch the place back before they had any 24/7 locations (in my area, at least), stayed open crazy hours during the holidays, etc.  Totally out of luck, and most likely going to ruin Christmas by everyone figuring out that I'd forgotten my mom.

I get everything wrapped fairly quickly and am in the process of getting things organized to be put out under the tree when we put it up and I hear a knock at my bedroom door.  It's my aunt, coming to check on me as she hadn't seen me in a while and, seeing the pile of presents that I'm trying to get organized to be carryable later on, begins to confide in me what she got everybody else and how she thinks that'll go.  Cue her getting to my mom's gift, which she's excited about, and proceeds to tell me that she's been shopping for her all year, picking up various mice ornaments (my mom had a thing for mice ornaments, figurines, etc.) and had a box bursting with them.  Given her description, she'd been adding them to a big Avon shipping box all year as she got them and just threw the lid on when it finally got full and wrapped it.  She then asked me about what I had gotten everybody and, being able to keep a secret or tell a bald-faced lie flawlessly, told her that it was a secret and everybody would love what they got and surely be surprised (which my mother definitely would be, if I didn't pull something out of my hat).  She laughed, nodded, and left.

Dinner came and went, and my dad, brother and I began the process of clearing the corner in the living room and preparing to put up the tree while my mom and her sister hung out in the kitchen and made various baked goods.  We had the tree up fairly quickly, but everybody drug their feet about getting gifts out and under the tree.  Finally everybody started bringing their gifts out and getting things arranged, much to my panic (still not having figured out what to do about Mom), but then hatched a plan the moment I got a glance at exactly how large the box of mice ornaments my aunt had brought really was.  For the rest of the evening everyone mostly hung out in the living room, leaving me no window to do the deed that I'd quickly conceived of and only haphazardly planned.  Finally, everyone wandered off to sleep, my aunt bedding down on the pullout bed contained within the couch in the living room.  Approximately 3 feet from the Christmas tree.

What followed a tense hour or two later (I don't remember how long it was--I just recall going "to bed" as everyone else did and waiting nervously, pretending to sleep, for my aunt to start snoring) prepared me for being the Santa I am today.  After my aunt was snoring long and loud for at least a few minutes, I crept silently out of bed and into the living room.  Despite our house being brand new when we moved in and probably only 4-5 years old by the time of this story, there were still quite a few creaks and squeaks to the floor.  Calling back to all the times I'd snuck out of bed when much younger to secretly watch TV in the hallway and scamper off undetected whenever one of my parents got up for something, I managed to make it into the living room without making a sound.  Only to find that my aunt was sleeping on her side, her face pointing straight at the Christmas tree, more or less right where my prize lay, at the bottom of a pile of gifts featuring the loudest, most crinkly wrapping paper ever.  After what felt like half an hour of doing my best to silently relocate each gift, I managed to extricate the big one intended for my mother and begin my escape.  In my rush, I managed to step right onto one of the squeaky boards as I was entering the hallway off the living room and heard my aunt's snoring immediately cease.  My blood ran cold as I heard a groggy voice call out, "Whutyadoin?"

With skill that I didn't know I had, that James Bond himself would be jealous of, and that I've never had to repeat since, I managed to slip the large box I had visually blocked by my body (and which was deep enough into the hall not to be seen) onto the handle of my father's coat closet and turn in such a manner that I was able to keep it balanced on that small edge and up against part of my body as I rotated.  I let my eyes droop and face go slack as I turned, mumbling out something about wanting a drink and needing to go to the bathroom before slowly turning back around, feeling exactly how precarious the box was, getting a silent grip back on the box, then shambling into the bathroom, making bathroom sounds enough to be convincing (it's amazing how much a drizzle of shampoo can sound like peeing, lol), flushed, ran the sink, then shuffled back to my room, silently locking the door behind me.  I waited until I heard the drone of snoring emanating once again from the living room before getting out of bed, stuffing my blanket along the bottom of the door to shut out the light, and flipped on the overhead to see what awaited me.

Over the course of the next 10 minutes or so, I very carefully examined the package my aunt had carefully wrapped and flown down with, determining via couple of test tugs that there was no way I could pull the tape up without tearing the wrapping paper or its pattern.  I managed to slit the edges of the tape right where the paper crossed over itself and get the package open without any visible damage to the wrapping.  Upon opening the box, I did an inventory and, miracle of miracles, at some point my aunt had bought two of the same mouse!  One at the very bottom of the box, and another up toward the top.  I pulled out the one at the bottom to wrap up and claim as "my" gift for my mom, did some careful rearranging of the contents to allow everything to sit more or less where it had but not move around when shaken, despite the mouse army being one member down, and got everything back together and wrapped with only a doubling up of the tape (which one would never notice unless they were looking for it) as a sign that the package had ever been opened.  I quickly wrapped "my" gift for my mom, got it situated in the stack of gifts that I had yet to distribute under the tree, got everything placed on my aunt's gift, then snuck back into the living room to complete my mission.

I made it as far as getting everything set in the floor before the snoring behind me stopped again and my aunt muttered at me about what I was doing.  I whispered back that I'd forgotten to put my gifts out before going to sleep and was taking care of it now so that nobody felt forgotten in the morning.  I assume that she bought it, as I heard her proceed to roll over (finally away from the scene of the crime, lol) and begin snoring again within a few moments.  Figuring I shouldn't press my luck any further, I shuffled the other gifts my aunt had brought up against the big one I'd just violated (making it appear that I'd moved them to put mine on top of hers) and more noisily made my way back to my room and finally to sleep.  The following morning, I made sure that the first gift my mother opened was the one that I had purloined in the night, just to guarantee that she would be happy with "mine" and not disappointed that she had gotten a duplicate.

To the best of my recollection, I don't know that I've told another soul about this while my mother was still living, lol.  Even to this day, I'm still not entirely certain whether she'd laugh, smack the crap out of me, or both, if she'd ever found out.  😂

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Late 90's. K-Mart. 2 or 3 days before Christmas. Sat in the cart and held the last atomic purple N64 bundle in store. My mom bought the bundle and Goldeneye for my dad. I fell asleep before he finally finished the game Christmas Night. How I wish I could go back and save those games and console.

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I wish I had a super exciting gaming-related Xmas story to tell but I really don't. I got my first NES on Christmas 1989 but I barely remember it as I was 6 years old. Every year from then until 2002 I asked for a specific game or two. I know one I was particularly excited about was Donkey Kong 64 in 1999. I got up super early 5 or 5:30 am, and I was so hyped to play this game that I think I got an hour or two of sleep, if any at all. I just remember being dead tired all day but I played the game from like 6 am til midnight that day. Yeah those were the days.

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My brother & I would typically get consoles for Christmas as a shared gift. He is six years older so it would go in his room and I would have brief windows to play, but it was pretty much his system until the next one came along. My brother bought a PS1 3-4 years after launch which meant I was finally able to upgrade the SNES in my room to the N64 of "ours" and I was on it non-stop. I was so obsessed with it that I even remember cancelling my Nintendo Power subscription because they were advertising too much gamecube stuff.

At the age of 11, I had seen XBOX signs in my local game shops and kids at school had talked about it, but I had no interest; it could have been a handheld; I had no clue. I was still only, really, two years into my N64.

That Christmas, I had a gift front and center with only my name on it - I opened this big box with a green X on it and didn't even know what it was. After my brother explained to me what it was, I hooked it up to the big screen after the presents were opened and I was FLOORED. I was a hermit the rest of the day playing Madden, Arctic Thunder, Dead or Alive, and Simpson's Road Rage. Definitely the best Christmas ever.

The amusing anecdote my brother shared with me years later is that he and my dad had walked by a kiosk in Best Buy and thought the Madden demo was an actual game airing live. My dad was so blown away he had to buy it.

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The year was 1991 and me being the little shit that I was took to digging in my dad's closet looking for Playboys and other cool stuff.  Around my birthday I came across a stash of two Nintendo tapes including TMNT 2 and Flight of the Intruder. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked for my birthday.

So when I opened presents a couple weeks later, to my dismay, I only received the Turtles game.  Which was great and all, but all of my friends also owned that game and I had pretty much played it to death by August.  Then my ungrateful mouth let it slip that what I really wanted was Flight of the Intruder.  Like I even knew that game existed before seeing it in the closet.  Pretty sure I saw my dad give my mom a sideways wtf glance right then.

Fast forward to Christmas and lo and behold, Santa came through with the Intruder tape!  It's actually a pretty damn fun flight sim and some of my favorites to this day.  That was the last year that I received a gift from Santa Claus.

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