The one thing you need to do before giving that Xbox or PlayStation gift this Christmas

Don’t let me fool you. I by no means have fatherhood thing mastered, but I do have a few dad tips conquered. Here’s one of my Father of the Year pointers to help you on your journey.

Video Console Gifting

So you’re finally pulling the trigger on that Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch as a gift for yourself…er, I mean your son. Here are a couple of tricks to make sure you are a hero and not a zero on Christmas morning.

Buying a video game console for your child doesn’t automatically make you a hero.

First, congratulations on snagging that Cyber Monday console deal. Slap some wrapping paper on it when the package when it arrives in the mail and declare, “Mission Accomplished!” Hold on there a second, President Bush, you only just completed the first level. The real boss battle battle lies ahead.

Hold on there a second, Mr. President. The mission is definitely NOT accomplished yet.

What you just guaranteed yourself was an anticlimactic Christmas morning as your children watch you spend 30+ minutes performing the menial tasks of system setup and profile creating. Not to mention the multi-hour wait as overloaded Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo servers attempt to distribute the petabytes of game content throughout North America.

This is the equivalent of your parents buying you a bike for Christmas but needing your dad to assembly it before you could ride it. I have more to say on that topic but that’s an article for another day.

Here’s my advice. Before wrapping the console, hook the whole thing up. Preferably somewhere your son doesn’t frequent. Understand this might take a while. It might even take several evenings depending on your internet speed and the number of games you purchased.

Once plugged into your television and powered up, connect the device to your internet and start running all the system updates. Don’t be surprised if there are several. There might even be one for the controllers. If you purchased any games, pop the disk into the unit as well.

If you are new to video game consoles you need to know that almost all games require the download of scores of gigabytes–beyond what’s on the disc–before you can play.

On Christmas morning it’s going to take 2.5 hours to download those 45 gigabytes at under five megabytes per second. If you are nine, that’s an eternity.

Why you are at it, you might as well download Fortnite too. It’s a free game that everyone on the planet seems to be playing at the moment. If your son is younger, you can speed up the process even more by signing him into his account.


With all the system updates run and games installed, now you are ready to wrap the package after putting everything back in the box.

Think how you’ll cement yourself in your son’s eyes as Father of the Year when upon opening the console he’s playing just minutes later.

Video Game Gifting

Even if you already own a gaming console you can still be Father of the Year when you give your son a new game. Start by removing the disk from the case. With the disk removed, wrap the case. Put the disk somewhere safe and where you won’t forget where it is. If you lose the game disk your son is going to hate you.

On Christmas Eve right after everyone has gone to bed pop that game disk into the console. The game will download and install overnight. That way when your child opens the wrapped case he’s ready to play them and not in four hours.

Again, do this and you not only are going to be a hero on Christmas morning but you’ll be setting yourself up to be Father of the Year. 

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