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When I was a child, there was no more magical time than Christmas. I would wake up before the rising sun, rush downstairs, and stare in awe at the bounty of gifts below the glittering lights adorning the tree in the living room. It wouldn’t matter what the gifts were, and some years were leaner than others, but I will always remember that feeling of seeing presents where there were none the night before. One of the best gifts I received was actually a dual gift for me and my brother that we absolutely loved and played with obsessively for a long time – Pokémon Red and Blue.
Now I have children of my own, and Christmas is once again breathing its cool breath down our necks before the end of this tumultuous year. They’re finally at a great age where they can appreciate the season, but not so grown up that they’ve realized there are more Grinches in the world than most would like. Our family, like most families this year, have been through a lot. I wanted to really ignite the joy and togetherness that this holiday is so well known for. So when Pokémon Sun and Moon came out, I thought there really could be no better gift for my son and daughter.
Sure, the graphics are newer and there are around 650 more Pokémon than when I played it, but the game has remained relatively the same for years. Collect Pokémon, battle your way to the top, and become the very best Pokémon Trainer you can be.
When my brother and I got two versions of the same game, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. We both got to play the same game, but they were “different”. We could trade, and in fact would have to if we were to “collect ‘em all”. We could also battle to see who the better Pokémon trainer was. Sometimes it was him, and sometimes it was me, but each time one of us lost, it would make us come back with even more tenacity.
Pokémon Sun and Moon will be my kids’ first Pokémon games. I hope they wake up wide eyed and ready for the day, rushing to the living room to see what has been offered under the Christmas tree. I hope they squeal with delight when they see that they both have a game they can play together, or on their own. I hope they run to their rooms to get their game on and collect as many Pokémon as they possibly can. But most of all I hope they remember this time of playing together and having a ball on Christmas day, battling and trading with each other, giving each other tips, and generally having a great time just as my brother and I did 18 years ago with Pokémon Red and Blue.