Share your memories of Holidays Past and Present – what’d you unwrap this year, and what are your favorite memories of seasons gone by?

Okay, maybe the Nintendo 64 Kid isn’t the best example of a normal holiday unboxing – to say the least, he’s a bit more, erm, enthusiastic than your average kid – but let’s not fool ourselves here: Even if we’ve never reached the screeching furor of the Nintendo 64 Kid, we can all remember one Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Festivus) where we got that gift that we’d always wanted.

For me, it was … the Nintendo 64, actually. I’d made it very clear to my parents that it was the thing I wanted above all else for the holidays, and would spend hours at my friend’s house watching him play Mario 64, but it was rare beyond belief. Nowhere had one, and even though I discreetly kept peeking into the closet where my parents hid the wrapped presents looking for something the size and shape of the Nintendo 64 box, there was nothing.

Cue Christmas morning – still nothing the size and shape of the N64 under the tree. Presents were opened, and my brothers and I got some great gifts, but I was still a bit disappointed that the one thing I’d wanted more than anything wasn’t there. Finally, my parents handed me the final box with my name on it, and I tore off the paper to find… WaveRace 64? But we didn’t have a —

— and then they pulled one final box out from where they’d been hiding it beneath the sofa (of all places), and it was just the size I’d been looking for. It was the Nintendo 64 that my brothers and I had been hoping for all winter – as it turned out, the grandfather of a good friend of mine (living in retirement in Hawaii) had stood in line in the early morning to pick up two N64s, one for his grandson and one for his grandson’s friend, and had shipped them all the way across the Pacific and the United States to be there Christmas morning.

And that’s a memory I don’t think I’ll be forgetting anytime soon. I may not have been N64 Kid, but I can see where he’s coming from.

So, Escapists, get some eggnog, pull up by the fire, and tell us your stories. What are your fondest holiday memories, unwrapping a gift and being shocked? What’s your favorite gift from this holiday season? Don’t be shy, now!

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