It was 2006, also known as the Year of the Playstation 3 among certain esoteric circles (the cool ones).
I was 16 years old and Sony's new gaming console was set to be released in November. It would be my ticket to next generation living room experiences and social acceptance. My perception of myself as a relevant teenager was wholly dependent on owning the latest advancement in video game technology.
If I didn't have one, what would I have to talk about with friends? And how else would I spend my winter break?
(I won't mention the "Seinfeld" marathon I hosted that same winter break - and by hosted I mean, for myself, and myself alone. Musta' watched at least two whole seasons per day. You do the math.)
The chances of receiving a PS3 for Christmas were slim. I hadn't made it clear enough to my parents that that's what I wanted, so, due to my considerable lack of foresight and overall suburban complacency, they weren't able to preorder one in time for Christmas Day.
"No matter," I told them. "I shall hole myself up in a room on December 25 and emerge only when a PS3 presents itself to me. The day on which that moment comes will forever be known as Christmas."
In other words, the PS3 would be my present, but I would just have to wait for local retailers to get more in stock. Until then, I would hide from the world.
Thus, on Dec. 25, I would deny myself all worldly pleasures, refuse my mother's chocolate chip cookies and all of our traditions. I would wait it out - a proper ascete, a Buddhist on Christmas morning.
What did the old prophets once say - easier said than done? Yeah, that's the one.
Christmas morning is irresistible, regardless of presents. It's family time that is all the more important because it's obligatory, a forced encounter to remind you that your mom and dad and siblings are actually kind of OK and spending a full day with them, everyone united by Christmas tradition, is sort of the kind of thing I don't mind doing once a year. But only once a year!
So my plan was thwarted by the general goodness that is Christmas. Life, sometimes, is hard.
As for the PS3, well, that came the next day. And it was awesome. But it wasn't Christmas.
Salvatori is a police and fire, and general news reporter at the Sun-Gazette. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.