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The Christmas of '97

Turning 10 years old before Christmas really felt no different from my previous years as a kid. There was always that hype surrounding the wait. The only difference was that my parents thought it was time that I was told that there was no Santa Claus, and going door to door at each house around the world would be scientifically impossible. I agreed with their statement. So being the third to get out of bed (aside from my mom and stepdad, who were preparing the photos) I dragged myself out of my room.

Fun fact: I was staying in this same home from 1990 up until 1998 down in Chesapeake, VA. The living room TV being on the floor was a staple up until that year as well.

My older brother, Stephen followed behind as he saw a bike parked right in front of the Christmas tree. The other gifts were huddled around it. He assumed from the get-go that it was his and happily placed it outside in the garage. From then onward, the gift unwrapping began. Stephen had opened a box of regular clothes from our grandma. As for me, being curious about a gift that looked like it was in the shape of a game case, I unwrapped it slowly to build up tension. To my parents dismay, it didn't hold any interest.

Observe: the face of disappointment.

Owning a Playstation at the time, I requested to have my parents buy Crash Bandicoot 2. What I got instead was a game based on The Lost World: Jurassic Park. I did eventually play it, but I could never finish it. My stepdad responded to my upset reaction by saying that I'll be missing out on those fancy state of the art graphics if he sent it back. I didn't say anything so I just set the game aside and continued to unwrap more presents with my brother. Both of us had gotten a couple of Tamagotchis (you know, those virtual pets that were small enough to put on a keychain?)

I got a puppy Tamagotchi while Stephen got an alien one. My brother was into a lot of alien-related merchandise back in the day.

Another box under the tree had a handful of clothes that also came from my grandma. We got the usual socks, sweaters, and shirts, and at the very bottom were two pairs of football themed shirts with Taz on them. At the time I was a big fan of Taz, though I wasn't really into sports. But whatever shirt had Taz on it, I was a sucker for wearing it.

I actually used to have another football themed Taz shirt a few years prior and it even had him wearing Redskin colors. This one just had him with generic team colors.

Ending our morning of gift unwrapping, my mom had gotten a new phone answering machine (which she had a blank expression about, but looking back was kind of funny), my brother and I got a magnetic car track set, I got a flying bird toy, Stephen got a VHS tape of the band Hanson as well as Jet Moto for Playstation, and my parents got an antique wall lock.

My parents had also gotten a food dehydrator machine from my grandma. My mom looks like she can't wait to use it in the kitchen.

The afternoon went by pretty fast as we all fiddled around with the gifts that we got. Stephen and I fought over the Playstation to play our games while my parents were setting up the wall clock and answering machine. But as the evening started we had to clean up all the present wrappings and go to my aunt's where our Christmas dinner was going to be hosted.

My Aunt, getting the turkey ready with my grandma.

We'd arrived pretty early, as we usually do for family dinner gatherings, so while the food was getting prepared Stephen and I lounged in the living room watching whatever was on Nickelodeon to pass the time. Once the other relatives were over the place got pretty noisy. Before we knew it the dinner was already done. Everyone got themselves stuffed with food and slowly left until it was just us, my aunt and grandma. Since things were slowing down I asked my aunt and cousin if I could play a bit of the games they had for the Super Nintendo.

What better way to end a Christmas night than with a rousing game of Super Mario Kart? My cousin and I were playing for a good half hour until we had to go.

So as we all rounded up to say our goodbyes, we headed out to the car and left back to the house to be greeted by our pets. What I was also thankful for was that the day after meant just one school day to deal with as the weekend followed. And with that, the Christmas of '97 was over.

So, how was my little trip down this Christmas of yesteryear? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!
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Benjanime Posted on Dec 13, 2018 at 09:56 PM

i had to wait a year later to get it, my stepdad wasn't too happy with my response to the gift so i had to straighten up my behavior for a while and start doing new chores around the house to earn it. the only downside was that it was the "greatest hits" version, which removed the neat holographic game cover which i liked but looking back doesn't bother me anymore.

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 13, 2018 at 09:43 PM

What a fun recalling of a special Christmas. Too bad you didn't get the game you were hoping for. Did you ever get it?

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