Christmas has arrived, the festive period of giving and generosity, and also a time when loved ones shower each other with thoughtful gifts. For many gamers it's a holiday full of nostalgia and memories of shiny new consoles, games and fun with the family. We couldn't let this holiday pass without sharing some of our treasured Christmas memories, covering different consoles and generations, and ending with an important message for any younger, overly-eager readers.

Ron DelVillano

Just about every year since I can remember, I’ve received at least one Nintendo game for Christmas. This has been such a long running tradition for me that it’s difficult to tell which games I received when, or to differentiate one Christmas from the next. However, despite my lapse in memory, there is one particular Christmas that does and always will come to mind.

The year was 2001, I was a young teenager, and I wanted nothing more than a copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee. Christmas day finally came, and there it was, nestled under the family tree, wrapped in bright paper just waiting to be played. Needless to say, I spent the next few hours playing it, but I only had one controller, so I could only focus on the single player aspects. Regardless, I played through classic and adventure modes countless times and with every character. I unlocked all of the hidden characters and played through with them as well. I was well on my way to going pro.

Later in the day, as is tradition for my family, we left the house to go celebrate with the rest of my family at my aunt’s home. By some miracle, my parents let me bring my GameCube with me so I could keep playing Smash Bros. — something that normally never would have happened, especially at Christmas.

As soon as we got there, I set up camp in a corner with a small portable television and kept playing. My cousins wanted to play, but having only a single controller, the fun was stunted by the fact that we couldn’t battle together. Admitting defeat, we reluctantly passed the controller around so everyone could have their fair share of game time.

Later in the evening it was time to exchange more gifts. I knew that there was nothing else in the world that I wanted at that point, having already received the game of my dreams that morning, but I put the controller down and joined my family anyway. Presents were passed around, hugs were exchanged, and smiles were shared. I opened my gift, expecting nothing that could possibly top Super Smash Bros. Melee, and found myself holding a brand new GameCube controller. I hadn’t asked for a new controller, but now, after a day of solo play, I was finally able to share the joy of this game in multiplayer rumbles with the rest of my family. It was a true Christmas miracle!