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Who’s Coming To My Holiday Party?

Who doesn't love a holiday banger? I know I do! Sure, it's a lot of work to pull off. Still, nothing pays off in joy, laughs, and community as much as assembling loved ones for the holidays.

Since I was young, video games have always been a valued holiday guest. New digital idols and icons find their way to my Christmas hooplas every year. And this year, I'm going above and beyond. So here's a taste of my video game holiday guest list!

8/8 Cooking Mama

It's not a proper holiday gathering without good food. Thank goodness I have a loving mother I can call on for help with my party catering. (No, not my actual mom. She's excellent, though.) Of course, I'm talking about Cooking Mama!

Cooking Mama is a new friend I made while playing her latest mobile game Cooking Mama: Cuisine. This exquisite home chef became my culinary mentor. We spent hours together deep frying potatoes, boiling beef stew, and molding veggie burgers. It took some convincing, but she said she would cook for my party as long as I washed the dishes!

7/8 Isabelle

Isabelle became a reliable and trustworthy teammate while founding my island in Animal Crossing. Some people say she's ditzy, but she's the most capable person I know. Isabelle's kept my head on straight more times than I can count.

So, naturally, I begged Isabelle to help me plan this holiday shebang. Thankfully, she was thinking of throwing something herself, so we're putting our heads together to make the ultimate Christmas Eve Extravaganza!

6/8 Sasquatch

Sasquatch is a personality that comes on strong. The first time I met him, he pelted snowballs at my noggin during Darkstalkers matches. As a result, I got some nasty bruises and a mild case of brain freeze. It was an intimidating first impression.

Still, I decided to give Sasquatch a second chance. After all, I know what it's like to be a big personality in a room of low-key snobs. And you know what? I'm glad I did. We spent a wonderful afternoon with his tribe, who taught me how to make the perfect snowman! I told him, "Sasquatch, you must come to my place this Christmas. My friends will adore your talents!"

5/8 Yuna

Yuna's one of my closest friends. We go back to 2001 when I met her in Final Fantasy 10. I remember when we defeated Sin, and she lost Tidus. That was rough. But we pushed through.

When I started middle school, we both went through awkward phases. She got on an odd "dressphere" kick, and I struggled to get people to like me by wearing oversized Phat Farm shoes (remember those?). But we've always supported each other through good times and bad. So, naturally, Yuna's coming over with a little bit of summoner's holiday magic!

4/8 Mama

I'm not much of a bar hopper. But when I do go on the crawl, I make a point to visit my favorite queer spot in Golden Yokocho, a snack bar called Marble. I'll hop on a barstool and kiki with its glamorous proprietor, Mama. I can talk to Mama about everything, and we spent countless nights spilling tea while I played AI: The Somnium Files during the height of the pandemic. Now we're bosom buddies!

So, the other day, I made a holiday trip to Japan and reconnected with friends at Marble. I mentioned my upcoming party, and Mama was listening in. They immediately put down their bonito and burst in, "You know, I'll be spending the holiday on Long Island this year! Special business in the Hamptons and maybe a detour to Fire Island. I'll stop by. I'm sure you'll need someone at the bar." How could I say no? (Really, they're connected to Japan's criminal underworld. How could I?)

Okay, so Mama invited themself. But I would've invited them anyway. After all, they know they're always welcome; we're cool like that.

3/8 Dee Jay

Six degrees of separation are powerful, especially in the entertainment industry. I never thought I would get to know an international dance music sensation. However, I was lucky enough to sit next to Dee Jay while supporting a friend's show in The Village. It turns out he was there to see the same person! We've kept in touch since.

Last week I was messaging Dee Jay, asking him for ideas for a jammin' holiday playlist. Of course, I knew I had to include all the classics. Still, there had to be some deeper Christmas cuts I didn't know about. One thing led to another, and we talked about holiday plans.

Originally, Dee Jay was going to fly to Jamaica to be with family, but the upcoming Nor'Easter derailed his plans. So, I took a chance and asked him to drop by my place. And he said yes! I'm shooketh. An A-List music artist is coming to my party! (I guess that awkward middle school phase officially passed.)

2/8 Spyro

Where do I begin with Spyro? He's an old family friend. Since kindergarten, this courageous dragon has kept a watchful eye on my brother and me. These days, he and my mom take annual vacations at this splendid B&B in Summer Forrest. So, naturally, he had to come to my holiday shindig.

Spyro brainstorms fun and creative ideas to keep us entertained every year. This year, he bought a red nose and antlers for some hilarious Rudolph cosplay. And he even convinced a buddy of ours to play Santa!

1/8 Mario And Luigi

So who's the lucky guy playing the man with the sack? It's-a him, Mario! I was delighted to hear he was up to it; he'll make a perfect Santa Claus. Plus, he's bringing his brother Luigi, who said he'll dress as an elf. What a good sport!

As you might guess, Mario and Luigi are always the life of the party. They think up these bizarre party games each year that get everyone in a festive mood. For example, one year, the two brought a gigantic pizza pie and challenged everyone to an eating contest. Then there was the time when they put a giant Bowser head in the middle of the living room and dared us to an explosive game of chance. What a couple of rascals!

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