Christmage Day 20: “This or That…not both.”

“Santa can’t give you both, so you have to pick one of them.”


keeper “The following is a contributor post by the Keeper of the Darkness Flame Mage.”

November 1997.

I wanted two things and two things only. A Sony PlayStation and Mega Man X4. I had saved up from all of my chores to get both. I begged my mother to put the PlayStation on layaway at Value City. Everything had lined up for me to get a new gaming system and the game I wanted. Initially, my mother wouldn’t consider getting me any new games or gaming accessories until “I played the games I already had.” At this point, I had a Sega Genesis and an original Game Boy. My mother never understood my love for video games and anime but usually just let me be as long as it didn’t affect my homework or studying.



December 24th/25th 1997.

Me and my mother have this tradition of opening one gift on Christmas at 12:01am. I had gotten my mother three gifts and one for her to open for our usual time. I had given up on the PlayStation simply because my mother kept saying no. I wasn’t expecting anything game related, maybe the Transformer toys I wanted or a new VHS movie. I count down the hours to midnight and start preparing to give my mom the one gift to open. But something was different. There was literally one gift underneath our tree. One I hadn’t seen before. There were 7 gifts under the tree the night before…I know…I counted multiple times.

*Special note: My family has a penchant for putting small gifts in HUGE boxes or using misdirection. My mother in particular enjoyed huge boxes AND doing a riddle or some kind of problem to solve. At a young age, I hated it because I wasn’t able to figure it out as fast as I wanted to.


Where da gifts at?

Fast forward to 12:00am. I hand my mother her gift and quietly wait for mine (yeah I’m greedy, sue me). My mom goes to the bedroom to bring out this huge box. Like it was unnecessarily big so I assumed it was bike since I didn’t have one (but didn’t ask for one). I waited until after my mother opened her gift to open mine. I had gotten my mother a new purse and a briefcase…I sacrificed months of allowance so I was proud of myself. Then I attacked this huge box. I didn’t preserve the wrapping paper nor did I care about the tape on the box…it was all in the way. After 10 minutes of opening smaller boxes inside the bigger box….I met my goal. Mega Man X4.


It’s mine!!

As excited as I was about this, I didn’t have a system to play this game so it was kind of deflating. My mother did say that it would be one or the other. We hugged and went to bed with our new gifts, waiting to open the rest the next day. My mom woke me up but instead of going to the living room to open the rest of the gifts, she brought me a box while I was still in bed. It was the PlayStation…and I was the happiest little kid in the world.


She loves me!

I was ecstatic to say the least. I didn’t think I could love my mom any more than I already did at that point. She let me stay up all night to “break it in” and even told me we were going to Blockbuster in the morning. This day really started me on my gaming journey and has brought me to where I am now. This story goes to show you that if you are a real good boy all year round, then you will get rewarded with the thing you want the most…maybe even both of those things!

Well that my fondest Christmas memory. Thanks for reading!




The Keeper of the Darkness Flame Mage hails from the planet of Galifrey. Gamer, nerd, music enthusiast, blogger, anime aficionado, all from a stolen Tardis. Catch him and his contributors on Twitter and the Noir Nerd Zone.


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Categories: Celebratory

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11 replies »

  1. Wow, I am really impressed by you being able to pull off those gifts for your mom at a young age. Nice gifting! All you had to say was VHS and Blockbuster and I am right back in nostalgia land with you, nice story. I love the misdirection with all the different boxes you had to bust through, hilarious.


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