Hopefully you aren't expecting something sappy because I'm about to get straight up materialistic and tell you about the greatest Christmas gift I ever received. It was Christmas of 1986 and the thing I wanted more than anything in the world was the Nintendo Entertainment System. I had just turned 11 and only one of my friends (rich, spoiled kid) had one of these and I had never had the chance to actually play. But almost every kid in my school was hoping for one of these. The Nintendo was such a jump from the old Atari's and the world was ready for Super Mario Brothers.

I had gone to my dad's house that year in Spartanburg, South Carolina and even though I was excited to see him and the rest of my family, I can remember going to the tree to inspect for properly sized packages. There was nothing under the tree that could be an NES. I figured my dad hadn't gotten me one; either because they were too expensive, or because he had waited too long. These things were like Turbo Man from Jingle All The Way. If you didn't get one early, it wasn't going to happen.

Fast forward to Christmas morning and after having opened what I thought was the last package, I had excepted the disappointment of not receiving the NES. Honestly, I wasn't that much of a brat. It was an expensive present and I thought perhaps just a little too much to expect. Then, just like in the movie A Christmas Story, I was told that there was one more present that I had missed. It was under the tree, but didn't have my name on it. I didn't want to get too happy...I mean, it was in the ballpark size wise, but it could have been a play dough set for all I knew. I slowly ripped the corner which revealed the edge of the familiar Nintendo Font. After that, I knew. I ripped the paper off as if my life depended on it and there it was; the Nintendo Control Deck featuring the free Super Mario Brothers cartridge. Like many kids across the country, I stayed up playing Mario Brothers through most of the night and to this day I get a nostalgic feeling when I hear the music from the game.

My dad dropped a pretty penny on that system. Close to $200 in 1986 money. Double that for inflation and this was actually Nintendo's most expensive console. Of course, had I forfeited those childhood memories and just shoved the box away in a closet, it would now be worth more than 10,000 bucks. Check out this listing on eBay and you'll see what I mean.

So what about you? What is the best present you've ever received?

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