• James Clarke

Christmas Eve Gaming

My mother loves Christmas. She loves decorating. She loves the lights, the smells, and the family parties. Most of all, she loves Christmas morning, where she went to great lengths to keep the magic of Christmas going for as long as possible. The only problem she ran into on Christmas morning was waking her three boys up to open presents.

I’m the one in stripes.

I know. I know. Most kids on Christmas morning wake their parent’s up as early as possible. My parents finally decided that 9:00 a.m. was the last possible hour to let us sleep, and they would have to wake us up to join their festivities. We would get up, rub our eyes, and wander upstairs for juice and muffins. Then we would be unleashed into the living room for presents.

But why would anyone still be asleep at 9 am on Christmas morning? Yeah, we stayed up all night playing games, which was a regular occurrence every night during our winter break from school. Christmas Eve was probably the night we stayed up the latest. There was more excitement, more treats, and always new games open or waiting for us under the tree.

Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel early that day and started our adventure. We had played Hero Quest enough that we jumped right in and began the slaughter of little plastic mutant warriors.

We took a break for Christmas Eve dinner, which, as is our yearly tradition, consisted of Alaskan King Crab legs, shrimp (prepared in multiple ways) and steak on the barbecue (which was outside in the snow). After our fabulous dinner, we opened up and donned our new pajamas. Our two friends even received a Christmas Eve gift, because our parents are awesome.

And then we got back to our game, each of us taking turns controlling the Dark Legion. We didn’t make it through every mission in the mission book, but by the time we finally went to bed, at 4:00 a.m., we were getting close. My parents still woke us up at 9:00 a.m. for Christmas morning, and I’m sure it was fabulous as always. We were young. We didn’t feel the effects of the lack of sleep til that afternoon.

I have many fond Christmas memories, but I think that Christmas Eve, gaming with my brothers and our friends and spending time with family, is still one of my favorites.

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