It's Christmas Day and I feel like I should be reading gaming books and making characters.
From 5th grade until 12th, my grandma on my father's side always got me a gaming book or two with the obligatory socks and other things. She knew I loved it, she knew it was something I did with my friends, she knew I could give her a list of books and she could get one or two from HobbyTown USA in Eastpark Plaza. (That HobbyTown location closed over 15 years ago and Eastpark Plaza is now just a movie theatre with an attached Linens n' Things, the rest of the mall having dried up long ago. )
She hadn't the faintest idea of how roleplaying worked, and as a child I did try mightily to explain to her. Ultimately, it didn't matter that she was unable to grasp what exactly I was so jazzed up about, but she supported it.
I remember one year it was Gamma World 4th edition (the actual 4th edition of the game released in the early 90's, not the one that coincided with the 4th edition of a certain other game.) One year it was GURPS 3rd edition. One year it was the reprints/new covers of the AD&D 2nd edition PHB and DMG. I know there are others that I'm just not remembering, and I'm not sure at all in what order I received them, but it was a part of my life for quite a few years.
Now that I'm well into adulthood - chronologically, at least - I usually buy myself a gaming book 'round Christmas, since those aren't really the types of gifts I receive anymore. This year my Selfmas present was an order of Troika and Esoteric Enterprises. I only have the PDFs, as my hard copies are stuck across the pond probably until after New Year's. I'm not sure reading a PDF will scratch that tradition itch. Perhaps I'll pull something off the shelf later.
For now, I return to our Christmas tradition of digesting an obscene amount of Chinese food while watching terrible, terrible movies. At present, it's the live action Dolph Lundgren He-Man movie. Yowza.