Our Favorite Holiday Memories from the Seasoned Gaming Staff

It’s that time of the year again, where bells are jingling and millions of households will be hoping for a new gaming console or specific game. Some of the Seasoned Gaming crew wanted to share their favorite holiday, gaming memories. So enjoy the stories below and leave us a comment with your own should you choose!

Peter Aitken (@PeterP_85)

The first of my two favourite holiday gaming memories would have to be 2007. I Was 22 and had moved out from my family home and subsequently grown somewhat apart from my brother who is younger by 3 years.

However, September 26th 2007 marked the UK release of Halo 3. My brother and I both bought the legendary edition and that holiday we spent every day playing through the campaign and teaming up on multiplayer. Finally finishing the story on legendary coop before the Christmas break was over is an incredible memory and I always look back on this time fondly.

My second favourite holiday gaming memory is a lot more recent and goes to last year, the holiday of 2020.

2020 was a unprecedented year. It presented challenges unlike any that most people have faced in a lifetime. 2020 was also the lead up however to the start of a new console generation, always an exciting time for us gamers and I was fortunate enough to secure a Series X on launch day.

We headed into Holiday of 2020, in a national lockdown, and for me personally with some pretty major back surgery scheduled for mid January. So how does this holiday become one of my favourite gaming memories? Through friendship, community and great gaming experiences, despite the state of the world.

I had become more active within the gaming community and had already begun to interact with some amazing people that I would now count as good friends. In addition, as a longtime fan of Xbox, I had this incredible new console and the game I spent the most time on over that break was a game that many lauded as being one of the greats, a game that I had not yet played, and that game was The Witcher 3 (and yes it is now one of my favourite games of all time)!

Credit to Maxim Samarin for his artwork!

Steve Esposito (@AgitatedStove)

There are too many great gaming moments for me. Since I was a kid, my parents would gift me and my brothers various consoles. My parents didn’t like that we played games (perhaps we played too much). If I were to choose one, it would be getting the PlayStation 2.

I was on a cheat code site (remember those) and I saw a banner add. It had a bunch of these boxes with odd generic console-looking items. A question appeared on the banner ad that asked, “Which one is the PlayStation 2?” I freaked out right there and then.  I ran to my parents and told them what I saw! They didn’t believe me. So I had to explain it to them.

They told me they couldn’t get it. They front loaded the information. Really set up my excitement for the moment I ripped open the wrapping paper and saw that vivid blue box and the PS2 logo staring me in the face!

Elliot Porter (@DirecktGaming)

It must’ve been Christmas of 1997. The Nintendo 64 was already on store shelves as far as I remember, and I have this really clear memory that SNES bundles were marked down to $99 (so cheap!) for Christmas sales, which came bundled with Donkey Kong Country 3. I really don’t know how I knew that, or how I still remember it, but that’s clear as day in my memory.

So on Christmas Day, in sweltering heat at the height of summer in Australia, my brother and I opened our very first gaming console, a SNES. We had previously had plenty of video games, on some computer that we owned, the likes of Commander Keen and Alley Cat, and we had rented the SNES for birthday sleepovers or other occasions. We opened up the box and with it, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble, which has since become one of my all-time favourite games. The opening of that game, with its somewhat simplistically designed yet gorgeous levels, and music that still gets stuck in my head, is simply perfect. Dixie is burdened with Kiddy courtesy of Funky Kong, you get your little boat, and you’re off and running.

That game changed my life.

My brother and I, I’m sure, probably played that game all Christmas Day even when we should’ve been having family lunch and socialising. We played that game to excess, and eventually finished every single level and secret (thanks to Nintendo Magazine System I’ll bet) and even returned all the Banana Birds and basked in the glory of that hidden ending. It’s the first game I ever achieved 100% in! Getting this console on Christmas Day in the ‘90s was heaven, and it totally sparked my love for video games that I still clearly have to this day. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll surely never forget Donkey Kong Country 3. Oh, and controversially, I still think it’s the best of the original trilogy.

Eric Bezanson (@GamePositiveYT)

Christmas 1998.

I was 8 years old and there was only one thing I wanted for Christmas that year and that was a Sony PlayStation. After seeing it talked about on Electric Playground and Video and Arcade Top 10, I was convinced that it was the greatest piece of machinery in the history of mankind.

I got on my parents early, I started asking for it for Christmas in the spring of that year. Every time it was in a flyer I made sure to tell them. They always said it was too expensive but I was convinced they were bluffing. Then just a week or so before Christmas my dad pulled me aside and said, listen, son, there is no way our family can afford a Playstation this year, can you please tell me something else you want? I told him if you cant get me a PlayStation, don’t buy me anything just buy stuff for my sisters. Somehow after leaving that conversation I was still convinced It was going to be under the tree.

Christmas Day comes and my parents give us assigned seats, I’m on the big chair my sisters are on the couch and they hand us all of our presents one at a time. At this moment I’m realizing I have no idea what the box the PlayStation comes in looks like but I’m pretty sure I can see it wrapped in a big box. My dad refuses to give me that specific present until the end which makes me even more certain it’s the PlayStation. Finally, after I’ve opened all the socks, sweaters, and other small toys that box I have been eyeing is the only one left. My dad hands me it, and the weight feels just bout right. I tear it open and…. its a pair of boots.

I drop the boots on the floor in disbelief and proceed to head to my room to play super Nintendo and cry when my dad scolds me for not helping to clean up. As I’m slamming ripped up wrapping paper into a garbage bag with all my 8-year-old angst my Mom says hey look there’s one more present here and it’s for Eric. Just as fast as my eyes filled with hope, my heart sank as that “one more gift” was only the size of a pack of gum. My mom hands me it and I throw it in the garbage bag in disgust.

My Father did not like this. He tells me that I’m being ungrateful and whoever gave me that gift would not appreciate what I just did. So I dig it out of the garbage sit on my assigned chair and slowly open the box, wishing this day would end. Inside the box was a note. The note said something along the lines of: “Christmas is not about what you get it’s about what you give. Sometimes things are tough and you can’t always get what you ask for… but this time you did. Look under the chair.”

What was under the chair you might ask? A god damn PlayStation. I still don’t know how my parents pulled that off, looking back at our living situation from an adult perspective they must have made some major sacrifices to afford that. When I pulled it out from under the chair, I could not stop crying and every time I tell the story It still brings a tear to my eye.

Ainsley Bowden (@Porshapwr)

As a seasoned gamer (I had to) who grew up with the Atari 2600 and Sega Master System, the debut of the Sega Genesis blew me away. There was nothing I wanted more for Christmas in 1989. As a single mom, I knew to keep my expectations low as she simply didn’t have a lot of disposable income and even just getting a new game would be lucky. Regardless, I hoped that a Genesis would somehow end up in my lap on Christmas morning.

Now, I’ve told this story many times, and I’m not particularly proud of it, but given the passage of time it’s certainly grown to be funny. My friends and I were often left to our own devices when we were young, and thus as young kids do, we began hunting for hidden Christmas presents in my house. Low and behold, about two weeks prior to Christmas, we found a Sega Genesis in my mom’s closet. I had never been that excited in my life. The issue was, I really didn’t want to wait two weeks to play it.

So a couple of days later, while my mom was working a late shift, we took it out, carefully opened it and hooked it up, and played it. We then very carefully wrapped it back up, and put it back in the closet before she got home. We did this multiple times prior to Christmas arriving. In fact we played so much, that I had already beaten Ghouls N’ Ghosts by time Christmas arrived. And surprisingly, my mom was none the wiser. In fact, even as I sit here at 43 years old, I still haven’t told her to this day. One day I’ll share that laugh with her…

Those are the stories we have for you. From all of us here at SG, we wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season. As always, we sincerely thank you for the support and look forward to even greater things in 2022!

By Seasoned Gaming

Covering the videogame industry with daily content, unique opinions, and as always, no ads or filler.

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