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I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas (and I’m Totally Okay with That!)

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By Nelson Schneider - 12/22/13 at 07:13 PM CT

This year marks the first time in (approximately) 24 years that I have refrained from providing a written Christmas Wish List for my family. I started this tradition at around age 10 when my tastes and interests really began to solidify, and after a first disastrous year of receiving videogame-related gifts in the form of things my Troll Dad thought would be good, such as “Sky Shark,” “Cobra Triangle,” and “Jaws” for the NES (all of which I hated and later sold). Every year between then and now, my Christmas has been filled with a loot-splosion of games I specifically wanted to play, and every year I received almost everything I asked for.

So what changed? Have I finally grown up at age 34? Have I lost interest in what has been my hobby for the vast majority of my life? No, nothing so dramatic or unrealistic. Instead, what has changed is that I don’t really NEED anymore videogames. And with games crossed off the list of things I could request as Christmas presents, there’s really nothing practical to replace them. I could ask for a new laptop to replace my aging Samsung from 2009 that no longer can hold a battery charge longer than 40 minutes… but asking a 65+ retiree to buy a laptop is just asking for trouble. I could ask for a new car, but that’s a bit overboard, I just replaced the transmission in my current car, and I’m holding onto the belief that one day a 2001 Cougar Zn will be a hot collectors’ car. I could take the really boring ‘you’re officially old’ route and ask for clothes, but I have even more of those than I do videogames, and literally can’t fit them all in my closet and dresser.

No, with videogames off the list, there is literally nothing I want for Christmas. With the crushing size of my backlog requiring me to sift it into two layers – the first of which I want to play through, the second of which is to be ignored until the first is completely gone – I just don’t have the desire to urge my family to pay outrageous retail prices for new Nintendo games (or the meagerly-discounted used prices available at bricks & mortar used game stores like GameStop and Gamers). And new Nintendo games are the only thing I could ask of my family, seeing as their age and luddism prevents them from shopping online or using Steam. Yes, my gaming wishlist is pretty huge, and I fully expect to receive some of these from my friends if the Steam Winter Sale makes them cheap enough. But take away the digital-only games, and it looks pretty much like a WiiU list instead.

I’m happy that I might be able to put my WiiU to use again soon, but I’m really in no rush. With the 8th Generation in its infancy, I know I’ll have years (probably close to a decade) in which to wait and search for good deals on those Nintendo titles. Sure, it doesn’t help Nintendo’s bottom line, but I’m also not giving my gaming dollars to Microsoft or Sony, so it’s a wash.

So, to paraphrase the immortal (and terrible) Christmas song made famous in 1955, I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas, but not because I’ve been bad (though I’m sure plenty of MeltedJoystick’s readers would disagree). I just don’t want anything for Christmas, as I have enough already. Instead, I will simply enjoy my holiday vacation and try to get lost in the games I already own.

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Wrote on12/29/13 at 11:17 AM CT

No games this year - though I did purchase Diablo III with a gift card and, of course, my Steam backlog continues to grow... stupid winter sale and the completely outrageous price cuts. Plus lots of games show up as gifts - so, yeah, who needs to ask for new games anymore?

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