NintenHo Ho Ho!

Guest Post (Thank you, J!)

My parents had cultivated the idea that my sister and I were hopelessly over-indulged…

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… and they firmly believed that Christmas presents should be educational or functional… like…

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When I was 12, I decided to lobby heavily for a Nintendo.


My parents, however, were having none of it… until …they realized they could turn my Christmas wish into a valuable life lesson in fiscal responsibility.


So they agreed…. to buy me half of a Nintendo.

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They would pay for one half and I would have to pay for the other half.

I wanted it badly enough that I agreed and immediately began saving all of my pennies.

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Christmas morning, I saw a package in the back that was the correct size and shape for a Nintendo!


What could this be? My eyes were wide with innocent delight.

I shook it — the weight was right too!


But as I unwrapped it, I realized something was a bit… off.  It was a just regular cardboard box.

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And inside there was no Nintendo… just blocks of wood (roughly the same weight of a Nintendo) with crumpled up dollars.

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I looked up, confused.

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I uncrumpled all the bills. “$60.”

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“Yes!” she said brightly, really warming to the game.

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I nodded and returned with my savings.

“See?” she crowed triumphantly,  “now you have enough money to buy your Nintendo!”

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“Yeah,” I said dully, not able to mask my crippling disappointment,

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“I know one store that might be open!” she said, with a wink.

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“The Mom store?” I was incredulous.

She dug through the back of her closet….

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…and returned with the Nintendo.

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“Now give me the money.” She had me count out the $120 (to be sure it was all there) and hand it over.


“And here you go!” She handed over the box.

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I was numb. I finally had my Nintendo, but at the cost of a valuable lesson — my parents can make anything educational can suck the fun out of anything.