When Your Life Is a Video Game

ImageFor a break from the usual, I thought I would share a couple of Christmas memories today.

This will be our first Christmas since our son moved out on his own, and Rich and I don’t really care if we have any hoopla around us or not. Christmas with family will be at our nephew’s house this year, so we’ll enjoy the decorations, food, and festivities there.

Our son has had some pretty memorable Christmases. I was always like a kid at Christmas, so in essence, we were like two kids, and Rich had to be the adult.

The first memory comes from when Rich used to work afternoons, and for several years, he worked on Christmas Eve, which took away that evening and also the next morning.

Our son was twelve at the time, and, of course, he played NintendoImage quite a bit. We were all enjoying a goofy old game called Snake, Rattle, and Roll. One of the best parts of the game was warping to other levels. If you have never warped to another level, it’s basically finding a secret place on one level (like level three) that will automatically send you up to another level (like level six), so you can bypass some of the game.

This particular year, our son also bowled in a league on Saturday mornings. Two weekends before Christmas, I took him to the bowling alley as I always did. I told him I would pick him up in three hours, and if he was done early to stay inside and wait for me. I usually stayed to watch.

The minute I left the house, Rich put a ham in the oven and started decorating. The tree went up and presents were loaded beneath. Other decorations were placed around the house. Christmas music was turned on. The minute I came home from dropping the boy off, I started fixing Christmas dinner. Rich made a banner for across the wall in the kitchen.

When it was time to pick him up, Rich drove down to the bowling alley. He probably told our son something lame like Mom wasn’t Imagefeeling good. When they walked through the door, a huge Christmas dinner was on the table, the house was decorated, gifts were under the tree, and along the wall was a banner which read:
WARP TO CHRISTMAS DAY.

The boy couldn’t believe it. He was living a video game. He kept asking, “Is this for real?” He had two full days that weekend to play with Dad, the neighbor kids thought he was the coolest thing ever, and it made Christmas that year so much nicer for all of us.

The second memory is from a couple years later when our son and I were sitting in a Starbucks late one afternoon. Once again it was about two weeks before Christmas. I asked him if I was getting something in particular, but I can’t remember now what it was. He said, “I’ll tell you if you tell me something I’m getting.”

Well, there we were, not one kid and one adult, but two kids. Before you knew it, we were telling Imageeach other everything. Rich was at work, and we dashed back to the house and dragged all of the boy’s gifts out from their hiding places and looked at everything. There was a Sega Game Gear in the lot, and we played with it for the rest of the day. We messed with and/or played with his gifts every day after Dad left for work – right up until I had to wrap the stuff on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas day, our son acted wonderfully surprised with everything he opened – as did I. It was months – as many as eight or nine – before we confessed to Rich what we had done. We confessed in front of Grandma and Grandpa. They thought it was hilarious, but Rich absolutely couldn’t believe that I would have done such a thing. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The boy and I had a blast.

So even if my house isn’t decorated this year, or Rich and I don’t have any hoopla, I still have a ton of fun memories.

I know I’m not the only one to mess with Christmas. Tell me what you’ve done!