W00t! As part of the Furtive Father Winter event at Blog Azeroth (hosted by Akabeko, who has done a fantastic job this year), I received a surprise guest post!
My Secret Santa was no other than Saif from Raiding after Dark. Saif’s a fantastic writer (WITH CREDENTIALS!) and he certainly delivered again this time. I got all goosebumpy and teary after reading his lovely story.
* * * * * * * *
I don’t know crap about Holy.
That was my first thought when I sat down to write this. Fear enveloped me. I hadn’t been writing about and theory-crafting Paladin healing for ages. What could I possibly have to say on one of the most popular and successful blogs in Azeroth?
Then I realized I didn’t know much about Christmas, let alone Winter’s Veil.
The real panic set in.
I thought back to the last few Winter’s Veil celebrations and the holiday has come and gone eliciting only the occasional “Bah-humbug” from me as my guild-mates ran about gathering their achievements, carefully wrapping gifts and sending them to one another. I was the Grinch in the guild, muttering darkly about commercialism and errant
dates and stolen culture. All those Winter’s Veils blended together into a gray blur of kill-joy.
But last year’s Winter’s Veil shines clearly in my memory. Last year was different.
Cataclysm was young and new, we were still struggling with Heroics, trying to gear up to take on Nefarian and I was having a terrible Christmas Eve. My car was broken into, a severe snow-storm was on its way, and near midnight, I finally got home from leaving my car at the garage, cold and tired. My family was all asleep yet I was jittery, so
I logged into WoW, and queued for a dungeon.
Before I could click “Enter”, I heard my son stir in his sleep. He was only 2 months old at the time, and as one does with their first child I suppose, every noise he made compelled me to check in on him. I saw he was awake, but content, blinking in the dim light of the monitor trying to make things out, and so I tried to pat him back to sleep but he was having none of it.
He squirmed and I picked him up, brought him back to my desk with me and he focused his eyes on the only part of the room that was illuminated – the screen. We sat down together, and he continued to stare, mesmerized by the colors.
With one arm occupied by the baby, I was left to wander Stormwind, trying to think of something I could do. As the clocks in Stormwind struck midnight, in the midst of drowsy exhaustion, I thought, “It’s Christmas.” Despite the fact that I don’t celebrate the holiday, nor do I have any childhood associations with it, at that moment, I wanted
to celebrate it with my son.
Running to my bank, I saw the plethora of enchants and cut gems that I had stored up from having leveled up my professions quickly. I took everything I had, stood on the bank steps in the Dwarven District and typed, “/join trade.”
The usual mixture of erratic, chaotic white-text flooded my screen but I began to link the cut gems and enchants, with a “Free! :-)” after them. People stopped by, some skeptically, others offering to buy them off of me, but I gave something to everyone who spoke to me.
I didn’t just want to do dailies or quest on an alt with my son watching. If I was in game at Christmas, I wanted him to see me do something even a tiny, little bit meaningful. That’s what sets Warcraft apart from all other games for me – I have the opportunity to engage with other people, and perhaps improve their experience in a tangible way. It lets you affect positive change, if you are of a mind to do it. And I wanted my son to see me smiling and trading with
people, not blinding clicking Accept Quest/Complete Quest on auto-pilot having no interaction with the people around me.
And for the next half hour or so, I emptied out my bag, and when I was done, I looked back to see my son was asleep.
I carefully walked him over to his crib, laid him down, and went back to run that dungeon after all.
This Winter’s Veil, I finished my Merrymaker title.
* * * * *
Such a sweet story, I love it!
As for myself, if you were looking for a guest post from me on the participating blogs (right, I’m really THAT delusional ;D ) and couldn’t find one, well, someone did gift an anonymous guest post to Beruthiel. I WONDER WHO WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT, HMMMM?