My most memorable holiday was the Christmas of 1989. I wrote about it last year around this time, and cited it as the event that took my gaming from an interest to a full-fledged passion. I was so enamored with Super Mario Bros. 2 that I was legitimately writing poetry about it.
And not even joke poetry, but sincere, I-must-have-this-experience poetry.
That memory alone makes me smile.
Fast forward twenty-seven years to the present and the announcement of the NES Classic Edition, and very suddenly I found myself wanting something for Christmas for the first time in over a decade.
I mean, sure, I’d wanted small things here and there, but nothing that I was just desperate to have.
I actually thought I’d be able to get my hands on one, as after it was announced, I set up Google alerts for it, made sure I was prepared for Amazon’s first batch up for grabs (and wow was that ever a fiasco), and then watched as all my well-laid plans tumbled around me.
I sincerely believed I wouldn’t get a NES Classic. I really didn’t.
At one point I read an article which stated that apparently Amazon had actual stores (which I didn’t know up until that point) and that the stores in Washington state seemed to have more NES Classic units in stock than the ones in Oregon and California.
So, knowing several people in Washington state, I asked my partner’s parents to keep their eyes out for one. I asked if they happened across one to please pick it up for me and that I would reimburse them immediately.
I felt like a total tool asking them, but I thought, what could it hurt to keep an eye out?
Turns out, they weren’t aware of the NES Classic, so they called my brother-in-law who told them about it, who in turn called his friend (who actually had one already) and asked him to keep an eye out.
During all this time I’m just assuming that I am SOL for the foreseeable future, and honestly feeling a little saddened by it. I know it’s silly to be sad to not have a thing, but this particular thing was not only the high-res version of the history of my love of gaming, but it would also allow me to finally play so many games from the NES era that I’d never played (e.g.: Metroid).
Anyway, the week before we left to come home for the holiday I get a call from my partner’s parents that that friend of my brother-in-law actually found one. He found one.
And he didn’t just find one, he bought it for me!
Then came the complicated process of getting it to me. He took it to his parents’ house where a check was waiting for him from my partner’s parents. They then picked it up from there. They called me to tell me they had one, for real, and I just lost my crap. I couldn’t believe it. I’m not going to lie, I teared up.
The fact that so many people went to so much trouble to attain this wonderful thing for me was overwhelming.
So, I told my partner’s mom that I would reimburse her, but I had a favor: would she wrap it up so I could open it up on Christmas day to recreate my landmark Christmas of 1989.
She said yes. But this is where it gets pretty great.
Each year we do a gift exchange for the family. My partner’s grandmother drew my name. So somehow it was decided that she would technically give me the NES Classic as my present for the gift exchange.
This meant even more as I love his grandmother dearly (we even share a birthday), and the NES was all the more special for her involvement.
So, on Christmas day, there it was, the petite box with its snowman wrapping just waiting for me to discover it.
And so, when I finally tore that paper off and saw the NES Classic, in my hands for real, I was super choked up to not only have something I so dearly wanted, but also to know that so many truly kind and wonderful people found a way to make it happen for me.
I am terribly grateful and terribly fortunate. I can’t thank them all enough.
And you can bet when I get back home to California, I will be using it terribly often.
A Christmas miracle, indeed.