Ben's 12 Days of Christmas Memories - Day 12: Xbox One

The Christmas of 2014... The year before was a pretty hard year. 2013 started great with some really good games coming out, and it was also the year we moved from Capcom-Unity to our own domain. It was also the final year before I got a real job, so I had a lot of free time to do whatever it is I wanted. Sure a lot of that free time went to this blog, but I don't regret that at all. Sadly tragedy was just around the corner.

The day Fire Emblem Awakening came out was the day my grandma had a stroke and went blind in one eye. A few months later her sister's son would die, and then her brother a few days later. For me time was running out to find a full time job, and the payments on my student loan was coming due. A tornado ripped through the town that summer, and friends of mine were moving away and going on with their lives. A lot changed in that short year, but everything changed after I got my first real job, and my uncle got sick.

Right before Christmas I worked a day at the bakery for old time sake. My uncle needed help, and I figured I'd work for donuts to bring in for the people at my real job. It was kinda nice being back at the bakery for that day, but the best part had to have been getting time to spend with my uncle. I hadn't really seen him in three to four months, so we spent some time sitting in his back office just talking. That was also the day I helped him sign up for Netflix, and we watched some things together. It was nice. Sadly a week later he would catch pneumonia, and then he passed away the day after Christmas. He was only 42... Afterwords we lost the bakery, and nothing was ever the same again. Although I can't forget Christmas 2013, it feels like that was a lifetime ago.

Jumping ahead to 2014 and things are a bit different. I can't say we were fully adjusted to our new life without my uncle and the bakery, but we were getting there. That Christmas everyone decided to get together on Christmas Day itself (something we had never done), and we held it at my house instead. My grandparents didn't feel like doing anything (which was understandable), but we managed to convince them to come. It was a nice day, but the previous year still hung over everyone. We did our best not to bring it up, but it wasn't easy. What helped me a little though was what my parents decided to buy me.

(Yes, this one game made it all worth it!)
The Xbox One. I never expected to get a game console for Christmas again, but there it was. At this point I was fully switched over to PlayStation, but the XBO still had some exclusives I wanted to play. The biggest of these was the Master Chief Collection, and that crazy looking Sunset Overdrive game. I just couldn't get myself to buy it though. It wasn't that expensive at the time, but I also didn't want to spend that much money on it. So my parents did for me.

I'd be lying if I said the XBO is my favorite console, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. That Christmas I was finally able to return to Halo (a series I love), and play Halo 4 which I missed out on the first time around. They also got me Forza Horizon 2, which is an amazing racing games, Sunset Overdrive, and I was able to buy myself a few games like Dead Rising 3 (another series I really like). The Xbox One itself came with a free copy of Assassin's Creed 4, Unity, and Call of Duty Ghosts, but I had already played both AC games and had no interest in the new CoD. (It's still on my shelf unopened!) Overall I actually got a lot that Christmas, but I think spending time with family is what stood out the most to me. It was also my last "major" Christmas, but that's mostly because it was a special case. That's not to say my family still doesn't go all out for each other, it's just something as big as an Xbox One is really unlikely.

2015 was yet another "Xbox One" year. That year I received Rockband 4 as a gift, and was finally able to import everything form my 360 to current gen hardware. All of my instruments already worked, so all I had to do was set everything back up and start playing again. It was really nice having Rockband back, and once again it became my "go to" game. It's something I play whenever I feel like, and often for hours at a time. Because of this my Xbox One is now mostly a Rockband box, but it is still worth owning just for that. 2015 is also the year I really got into the "Trails" series, which is something I started with Trails in the Sky, but didn't really play that much until Cold Steel arrived right before Christmas Eve. But anyway...

The Christmases of 2014 and 2015 will both always stand out to me, and since then our family Christmases have been somewhat similar. Everyone gathering at my house, and then we all exchange gifts. We don't buy as much for each other as we used to, but that's completely fine. Christmas isn't about how much you get or what you get, it's about spending time with family and friends. These are memories you will never forget, with the gifts being just another way to remember them. Any time I look at what I've received over the years I remember where I was and who gave it to me, and for a split second I'm able to go back to that time. They are all great memories that I will always treasure, and I can't wait to continue making more. Starting with today -- Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you for taking the time to read my trip down memory lane.

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