2016 Xmas Gift Roundup!

Oh my, has yet another year passed already? Well, I guess three years if you’re just going by the last time I wrote one of these things. Remember how it used to be an annual tradition? Did I write this exact same intro paragraph last time? Ehh, I’ve already recycled the idea and the banner, might as well re-use some of the text as well.

I think that, for the most part, I stopped doing these because I began to feel embarrassed about all of the stuff I get for Xmas. I mean, it’s not like it’s all that excessive (especially with my lack of wife), but it’s easy to look at these articles and think to myself “gee, I sure am spoiled, aren’t I?” Maybe next year will be the year I finally act on my desire to volunteer somewhere and help those less fortunate.

But probably not. That would also require leaving the house, and my incredible selfishness is a defining character trait.

Back to the task at hand, though. I think you probably know the drill? I took pictures of all the stuff I got for Xmas and will now summarize them in short blurbs and maybe toss in a joke. That’s how she goes. Let’s get started.

Toeing the line between Xmas gift and souvenir, this Pikachu doll was given to me by my good friend, one Mr. Edwin, picked up while stopping in at the Nintendo store on his recent trip to New York City. While it is amazing, it’s also more than a bit disturbing if you stop to think about it. I mean, when your Pokémon claims victory in one of the games, it never skins and wears its opponent. Something happened to this Pikachu. Something horrifying. Something that changed its very nature from adorable mascot to the Leatherface of the Pokémon world.

Poor Delibird, I am sorry for the gruesome fate that you have met. I will honour your memory by forcing one of your cousins to continuously mate with a Ditto until they produce a shiny, pink Delibird baby.

Next, we move onto gift from dear old mom and dad. This year I was showered in wonderful gift because it recently came out that I’m their fourth-favourite (last place, to be clear) child, and they felt the need to maybe make me feel less rejected.

Okay, that didn’t actually happen. But it has become a fun in-joke for my brothers and I that our parents have rated us.

But my parents did still shower me with wonderful gifts. Not literally showered, though. That massive Toblerone bar likely would have fractured my skull. The rest I probably could have taken. As for item descriptions, most of that pile pretty much speaks for itself. The one hilarious note being that the $50 bill came in a giant gift bag all by its lonesome.

Also, those Matthew Good tickets were an excellent gift idea by my mother. Literally the best thing anyone could have bought me. It’s just too bad that I had not clearly stated that I had already purchased tickets. Whoopsie-doopsie! The double-up didn’t bother me at all, but my mom felt bad about it all day and kept apologizing over and over, which made me feel bad. In the end, she bought me a wonderful Shovel Knight hoodie to “make up for it” even though I said multiple times that it wasn’t necessary.

The moral of this story: my mom is the best.

This is something that I almost bought for myself but it was already December and I make it a habit not to buy myself things in December just to avoid any unfortunate Xmas repeats. anyway, I’m so happy that I have this mug not because it’s a Mega Man mug, but because it’s one of those rare pieces of merch to feature the Best Robot Master, Skull Man.

I don’t know if you’re aware, but Mega Man 4 is my favourite Mega Man. It’s not the popular choice (in fact, the video game snobs I like to pal around with typically hate it), but it’s always been the one that resonates most deeply with me. Probably because it has the Best Robot Master, Skull Man.

And that’s not all! My parents also gave me a couple of books! Not really the normal kinds of books, but definitely the kinds of books that one might get for Xmas.

The 2017 video games records book is very intriguing at first sight, because Fox McCloud is right there on the cover. What kind of record could Star Fox be involved in in 2016? Most Disappointing Overdue Sequel? I mean, I’m pretty sure that only three people really liked Star Fox Zero, two of them being myself and Shigeru Miyamoto. Anyway, I haven’t cracked this baby open yet, but I do look forward to setting some time aside to browse through it.

As for the book what looks like an NES cartridge, it’s a companion book that came out with the NES Classic Mini. The back promises coverage for the games included on the tiny NES (but it only covers the Nintendo-developed games), as well as reprints of old Nintendo Power articles. I’ve heard that this book has some fundamental flaws (and the biggest one is plainly visible on the back), but I’m sure I’ll be happy as a clam to leaf through it and kindle the ol’ nostalgia flames. If nothing else, I love looking at old Nintendo Power art. Hopefully this book does not disappoint.

Oh, one more thing. This Five Night’s at Freddy’s Freddy Fazbear action figure. As you can see from the Freddy Fazbear plush doll in the background, I’m a pretty big FNAF fan. Not a big enough FNAF fan to have the Foxy slippers, but close.

I like this figure, but the thing that really drives me crazy is that now I have a Springtrap arm, and I’ll have to buy the other four figures to get all the other Springtrap pieces. In a world where I don’t have Obsessive Collector’s Disorder, I would be perfectly content to own the Freddy figure alone. What a wonderful alternate reality that must be…

Now we can finally move onto the gifts from my brothers! From the oldest, we have but a single item, but it may very well be my favourite gift of them all; this massive, fancy, Return of the Jedi poster. It’s a thing of rare beauty, and I love it. Not even because of the whole Princess-Leia-in-a-bikini thing that every other nerd seems to get rock-hard for (RIP Carrie Fischer). I dunno. For whatever reason, that doesn’t really do anything for me.

Last year he gave me the The Empire Strikes Back poster, and so I am expecting the A New Hope poster to come next Xmas. If it does not, I will be furious.

Moving onto the middle brother, we have another smattering of goodies. First up, the annual Big Bang Theory season on blu-ray. This year, it’s season nine, and also it came with the price tag still stuck to it. Smooth. I can’t judge too harshly, though. I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled the ol’ left-the-price-tag-on goof a few times m’self.

On the opposite side of the image is a bottle of Liquormen’s Ol’ Dirty Canadian Whiskey. It’s the Trailer Park Boys-branded whiskey. Not the smoothest drink you can buy, but I quite enjoy it. In fact, I had bought myself a bottle recently, and the girl at the liquor store had a minor freakout when she saw it. A more confident man could have leveraged that into a real conversation, but I just sort of nodded along as she talked and completed the transaction.

The moral of this story is Also there’s a huge coffee mug what Middle Bro bought while on a trip to Las Vegas. The whole family received souvenirs of this sort, and that’s the most interesting thing I can think of to say about the mug. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. It just doesn’t stir my creative spirit.

Lastly, he picked up this M&M’s dispenser for me whilst in Vegas. Please note that I also received an M&M’s dispenser for Xmas of 2013. But it was not Star Wars-themed, and thus is dethroned as the best M&M’s dispenser that I own.

I do wonder why the Orange M&M has such a terrified look on his face, though. Perhaps he has realized that it is his destiny to stand and watch, powerless, as his friends and family are doled out and eaten right in front of him. Poor guy. That may be an even worse fate than Delibird’s.

We’re on the home stretch now, folks. Here we have the contents of a gift bag from my youngest brother. There’s not a whole lot to say about about an eShop card, and I’ve already said more than enough about Holiday Viva Puffs. A wee bottle of Fireball is a nice touch that will spice up a Game Night in the near future.

Now, go ahead and take a quick break to read that Viva Puffs article. I moved it over from the Angelfire site specifically so that that link could stay on-brand. Please justify the seven minutes I spent doing that.

So we have peppermint cookies, video game money, and cinnamon whiskey. Could this gift be any more perfectly suited to me? Sir/Madam, you bet your tushy it can.

Here we have a plush doll imported from Japan. What is it, you ask? It is Arzuros, a bear-like creature from the Monster Hunter video games. Arzuros just happens to be my absolute favourite monster from the series, and since I was fairly sure that Capcom hates him, I had no idea that there was an unbearably cute little plush Arzuros out there.

Odd as it may sound, plush Arzuros takes the Favourite Gift crown this year.

This now brings the number of plush toys that I own up to five. At this point, I think I’ve hit my limit. Maybe even overstepped it slightly. Can I explain them away as fancy pillows? To be fair, three were gifts, and so it is my duty to love and cherish them for all time. It is also my goal in life to own as much Shovel Knight merch as possible, so I had to get the plush Shovel Knight. The impulse-bought Mega Man doll may have been unnecessary. I suppose it’s moot, as no woman will ever see my bedroom again anyway.

And that about wraps things up for 2016. For the sake of full disclosure, I should mention that I did choose to omit a significant number of gifts. Things like a shirt (it’s plain grey. Exctiing!), a couple of cheques, countless gift cards, and a big box of assorted candy. The one thing I feel like I should have included was the big bag of beers that was given too me by Oldest Bro’s girlfriend, but I only received it after I was done taking, editing, and uploading all those photos. What can you do?

Also of note is that this may be the first Xmas since I was four years old that I did not receive a video game as a gift. I would suggest that I’m growing up, but the plush toys say otherwise.

Suffice it to say, it’s been another good Xmas. The most important thing is that I had a little more money this year, so I was able to give more and (in some cases) better gifts to the people I care about. While I still need to work on giving out more thoughtful gifts, I like that I was able to cover more people in 2016. Cliché as it may sound, I really do find more happiness in giving gifts than receiving them. But of course, I am immensely thankful for everything that I do get, and especially for having so many great people in my life.

Hope yous all had a great holiday season, and here’s to the end of 2016. It was mostly awful, so good riddance.

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