Every Christmas since we’ve had kids has made me reflect on Christmases of my own childhood.
So many memories. The year that my brother and I got our Nintendo was a great one. There was also the year that we got up a little too early and had to wait until all the presents were wrapped.
However, some memories are too distant to fully remember. Luckily, my mom has photographic evidence of the year that I peed my pants while laying on the floor looking at the tree. Actually, now that I think about it, that last memory wasn’t even really of me. It was a friend of mine. Not even a friend, really. A friend of a friend. It’s not important. In fact, never mention it again.
Since I now have kids of my own and we’re making memories of our own, I often think back to those Christmases. I think about what my parents did to make those moments special. Then I wonder If I am doing it right. This Christmas, I realized that I’m in uncharted waters.
After the unwrapping of the loot, as I kicked back with a cup of ‘nog, my son informed me that I had to set up his new gaming system, which also meant that I had to figure out how to work it. This was no easy task. I had to connect it to Wi-Fi, set up a gamer profile and buy a subscription to the gaming network.
Why are video games so complicated now? That year that my brother and I got the Nintendo, all we had to do was plug it in and turn it on. There weren’t any profiles to set up. No network needed. If we wanted to play video games with a friend, they would come over.
Side note: Can we all just agree right now that Minecraft is the most boring game ever made?
While I was setting up No. 4’s game console, No. 3 came to me with two gadgets that also needs to be set up, then No. 2 needed help setting up a profile on his gift. Before I was done, No. 4 came back with another gadget that needed to be set up.
This is when I realized that my parents didn’t know how good they had it. Everything my kids have needs some sort of profile, membership, app, bluetooth, cloud, calibration or who knows what. I can’t tell you how many profiles I set up that day. I also can’t remember the first password, which every device required. I don’t remember my dad having to do any of this.
Actually, I didn’t remember it because my parents did all that the night before Christmas. Only theirs was in the form of assembling bikes, big wheels, play sets or whatever our big gift was that year. I guess me being unable to find the Setup menu on a GoPro is the equivalent of not being able to figure out the axle assembly on a Power Wheels car. It’s one of the things we don’t think about when our kids are born: One day, I’m going to be cussing the makers of some new gadget for this little bundle of joy. It goes with the season, I guess.
In the end, I love every minute of it. I know in a few years, I’ll miss it and hopefully my kids will remember these Christmases with the same full feeling in their hearts.