Now you know Santa and Rudolph and Sleigh bells that ring; Frosty and Yule Logs and Carolers who sing; but do you recall the most obscure Christmas icon of them all...PAC-MAN!
It's true, for some bizarre reason in the early 80s Pac-Man was a representative of the gift giving season. This was probably because he was the most popular and licensable of the classic video game characters. Few would tune in to see A Yar's Revenge Christmas or Christmas Comes to Tetris, so Pac-Man fit the bill and crossed over from retro game icon into holiday propaganda.
Have a very merry Pac-Man Christmas!
For two seasons Saturday mornings were graced with the best cartoon based on a video game, Pac-Man. In the 80s cartoon stars often showed on primetime with a Christmas special, and the weirdest, trippiest of the bunch has got to be Christmas Comes to Pac-Land.
In this Hanna-Barbera classic, Santa slips through a dimensional portal and crash lands in Pac-Land. Found by Pac-Man and family, they nurse Santa back to health, but his bag of presents has been stolen by the Ghost Monsters.
When he awakens Santa isn't shocked by the talking yellow balls that surround him, he's shocked that they've never heard of Christmas! So while Pac-Man saves the day, Santa turns to a missionary and teaches the Pac-Land the true meaning of Christmas...presents.
2. Pac-Man Christmas Album - LP - 1982
Kitsch value galore as Pac-Man and family celebrate the holiday season in a record album filled with hilarious, cheesy and psychedelic songs, mostly about Christmas, none about Pac-Man. All of these are interspersed with a short tale of the Pac-Family opening their hearts and homes to the Ghost Monsters for Christmas dinner. Overwhelmed by the gesture, the Ghost Monsters decide to take the night off from trying to kill Pac-Man and his wife and child. Now doesn't that just warm your Power Pellets?
3. The Pac-Man Christmas Story - 33 1/2 RPM Book and Record - 1983
A painfully corny story of Baby Pac-Man getting so distracted by playing that he forgets to get Pac-Mom and Pac-Dad a Christmas present…and it's Christmas Eve! What's a freakishly circular, bright yellow baby to do? Luckily his Pac-Parent's let him use Pac-power tools, so he goes to work in their Pac-basement building them a special Pac-gift. On Christmas morning Baby Pac-Man (who wears a bonnet by the way) hands them a wooden chest he built by hand, with a World's Best Mom & Dad trophy inside that he welded himself, and the trophy was filled with coupons that can be cashed in for chores around the house.
4. Pac-Man's Christmas - Woman's Day Magazine - December 13th, 1983
Women have always been gamers, and this comic insert from Woman's Day proves it!
This Pac-Man oddity has the Pac-Family getting an emergency call from a Santa who has run out of Power Pellets, which he has his reindeer pop to get enough energy to fly on Christmas Eve!
It's up to the Pac-Family to save the day again, so they do what any rescue hero does in an emergency, book a commercial flight to the North Pole.
Soon the Pac-Family are risking life and limb (and practicing good parenting by bringing Baby Pac-Man along) as the Ghost Monsters chase them across the arctic. In the climax when the Ghost Monsters learn of Santa's predicament, their undead hearts grow and they volunteer to take the reindeer's place on Santa's sleigh.
The first classic video game celeb to appear on your Christmas Tree! No it's not a handheld version of the game; this is a miniaturized coin-op arcade tribute that emits sounds from the original Pac-Man game as the screen lights up. It's a pity they didn't use the original arcade cabinet art, instead opting for the modernized interpretation of our favorite chomping fanatic.
The capital city of Spain shows its holiday and old-school arcade spirit with a giant Pac-Man Christmas Tree right in the heart of downtown Madrid. Each side of the pyramid shaped tree lights up with a recreation of the classic Pac-Man maze, with a moving version of Pac-Man himself along with the Ghost Monsters.