Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Perhaps the best game to celebrate Christmas with is one that revolves around all sorts of holidays. Aside from fishing, bug catching and helping your lazy animal neighbors make deliveries to friends who are like, 50 feet away, Animal Crossing is all about celebrating special days. You can visit the latest handheld town to take part in everything from Groundhog Day to Summer Solstice, but it’s the Christmas season where Animal Crossing goes all out.
First snow starts drifting into town, allowing you to assemble snowmen who give you gifts. Then the stores start selling Santa hats, Christmas trees and other festive decorations. The pine trees become decorated with lights, auroras pierce the sky and your neighbors start hinting at the gifts they want to find under their trees. Finally, on Christmas Eve, you can celebrate Toy Day, where a reindeer tasks you with handing out presents to the proper villagers—do it right and you’ll get some toys of your own.
The one flaw with Animal Crossing’s Christmas celebrations is that there’s so much going on it’s difficult to find the time to do all of it in addition to, you know, participating in real life festivities with your loved ones. But if you’re away from home for the holidays, or living somewhere where snow is unheard of, or simply stressed out by all the shopping and party-throwing, it can be nice to escape to an idealized Christmas world for a few minutes, where all the lights are working and everyone’s just happy to see you in a Santa hat.