Christmas Blog Party: The Video Game Edition

Video games killed Santa Claus.

Well, indirectly at least.  "The Secret of Mana" was the absolute most coolest exclusivest hardest-to-get-est RPG (Role Playing Game) when I hit that critical pre-teen age.  But it showed up, wrapped, under the artificial tree that humored my allergic sinuses.

It shouldn’t have.  Three years prior “Snow Brothers” had done the same.  Frustrated by an intermediate level the day after Christmas, I asked my mom if I could return it.  “It took your grandparents a lot of work to get that” was the response.  You can’t blame her.  Being house decorator, cook, and present coordinator does not leave much energy to remember to string your child along on little white lies.

Like punk rockers, I can't remember what I wanted or if I even wanted to, but, after Snow Brothers, I remember wanting Santa to keep cranking out the gifts.  Having concluded that the fat man in a red suit did not care if I "peeked," generally did not care about my self-absorption, and did not care about my wanting violent games (they never arrived, no thanks to mom!), I still wanted more with a zealousness that can only be matched by those for whom I advocated in Drug Court in my later years in life as a Public Defender.

In any case, my disbelief, like that of the average child, had degraded from new discovery to rusted object of lingering profiteering.  The mutuality was readily apparent; my parents proffered no insistence of sitting on the fat man's lap; no insistence on letters answered by strangers; no insistence on ceremony except my assistance in dragging the fake tree from the basement to its Frankensteinein assembly in our ever-joyous living room.

(For the sake of easily influenced children and their parents, we won't get into how denial served my parents and I quite well from my early teens to my late twenties.)

To this day, I still anticipate token gifts or cards from the mysterious, obese, present- disperser.  To some extent I've accepted role-reversal, shopping for miniature models for the odd second cousin.  At home I'd glue a candy cane or two, and even act as the catalyst in larger gestures fueled by egg nog and other stereotypes.  Straddling the truth like a fence, and a good professional, I have two pieces of advice to give:

1.  If you don’t know this already, you don't have to power up the Mana spear to level 8 if you've got enough healing items.  But the Sprite dies in the end.  Like beliefs, confronted with transcendental dragons, often do.

2. Santa will bring you presents if you leave him cookies.  So leave him some cookies, already.   Chips Ahoy are yummy but at 1.99 per pack you can freaking buy two, all right?  (P.S. I take commission so buy 3.  Yes you have to.)

Darren writes about the Korean word for wedgie, taking yoga in another language, and the plight of the Native English Speaker in Korea at First-Level Korean. He sits two desks down from Danielle, is irrepressibly helpful, and obligingly laughs at her jokes. Sometimes.

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