The holidays bring sentiment and traditions into focus for just about everyone but as a child your tuned into the consumer wave length. You wait impatiently and debate anxiously about what will be given to you come that gift giving day of reckoning, Christmas. At some point there is a gift you want so bad that the sight of it unwrapped fills you with immediate and usually loud amounts of joy. These types of gifts are what I call ‘glorious gifts’ typically more abundant as a kid and less frequently as an adult. Now sometimes you never get that glorious gift, for whatever reason, which is definitely a bummer but as a kid you always think ‘always next year’ instead of ‘who picked this out’ as an adult. The first hurdle to getting a glorious gift as a kid was making sure your parents knew what your dearest desire was of course.
The next and greatest hurdle for the kid gamer was their parents feelings on gaming. While budget is always a factor with any gift, parents in my experience usually try like hell to get that glorious gift if they can manage it permitting they don’t disagree with something about it. So a kid getting a gift was entirely up to their parents: judge, jury, and executor as it were. I mean there were detractors for both core forms gaming. Whether the extremely expensive cost of digital gaming or vilification and misunderstanding of analog gaming. Parents had to sit down and consider such glorious gift requests. In my experience as a kid and now as a parent it seems like most kids have one of three types of parents in regards to their feelings on gaming:
These parents see digital gaming as an extension of the television, ie another method to rot your brain. While other concerns for “forbidden” knowledge leaking into their children’s heads would deter any analog type games outside of Monopoly. Kid’s with these types of parents definitely should not expect glorious gifts if they are in the gaming category come holiday season.
- Gaming Unaware
These are parents that are either distracted, busy, or just ignorant of gaming in any form or fashion. Typically are over worked or merely uninterested themselves. Most of the time through no fault of their own. They usually see gaming as an escape or hobby for their kids. Which they typically were happy to help with digital or analog wise.
These lucky few that had parents that are themselves some type of gamer or supportive of it in some fashion. These are definitely the envy of their neighborhood especially if other kid’s have Anti-Gaming parents. Whether it is digital or analog gaming these kids never have to worry about their holiday wishes, budget permitting of course. (My kids fall into this group, in case you couldn’t tell!)
Regardless of which type of parent you had though eventually as most parents do they would relent and you would end up with that prized item, your desired and coveted present of choice. Do you remember that feeling unwrapping that item of greatest desire? The excitement once it was revealed!? Sadly such gift giving events are few and far between, not to say that other gifts afterwards aren’t as good. Just at that young age and lack of experience the feeling is unique and impact magnified! As we age it is much harder to reproduce the same exhilaration over something we now see as habit.
My own first glorious gift was not just the gift itself but the way it was given to me. That morning my siblings and I awoke to a single box next to the Christmas tree. While only a single box it stood almost half as tall and as wide as the Christmas tree itself, wrapped in green shiny paper with a big red bow on top. Our parents encouraged us to open it, which we did with wild abandon only to find white Styrofoam peanuts and seemingly nothing inside. Our parents laughed and told us to look again, this time we dove in pulling a large slightly smaller wrapped box out of the bottom. We tore the paper off in seconds to reveal that Super Nintendo console complete with Super Mario World cartridge. You would have thought we had hit multiple lotteries, solved a world crisis, or were merely dying by the sounds of our excitement. It didn’t end there though, encouraged to look again we dump the box over revealing more games wrapped and taped to the inside of the box. The morning was a mess of peanuts, laughter, and excitement as we unwrapped, cleaned, and then sat down to hook everything up.
It was a massive gift and the whole experience was certainly one of the reasons it sticks with me. I certainly wish that this moment was something I had on tape and could share much like the Nintendo 64 kid’s video that is amusing, also part source of our featured image for this article, but I still remember it vividly which is the point. It was one of my glorious gifts that has stayed with me through the years although there have been others of course. Yet this one was the first that seared that glorious gift exhilaration into my, then, child brain.
So we’d like to know . . .
What glorious gift(s) have you received?
What gift(s) did you receive that seemed like a flop but turned out awesome?
What gift have you given that someone went absolutely crazy over?