Better Than Christmas

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Every once in a while I come across something that gives me a bit of a chuckle, whether it's because it's funny itself or because it reminds me of how I used to be. These days I buy my boosters by the case and treat the cards like inventory as soon as they're out of the wrapper. But it wasn't always that way. I remember Christmas morning splitting a booster box of Mercadian Masques or Unglued with my brother felt like a big deal. Some people still feel like that. I came across this Amazon review and it brought me back to a lot of Christmas mornings from my past. Maybe I'll go bust a box just for nostalgia's sake. I may even keep some of the cards and play with them.

No, probably not that. Let's not go crazy.

Better than Christmas



I enjoy the sentiment a lot. Pro tip for the rest of you- if you don't want people to think you use illicit drugs, insisting repeatedly that you do not use illicit drugs despite no one asking whether you did or not is probably not the way to go about it. This one goes out to all of you lovers of cardboard crack.

So how about it? Got any Magic-related Christmas (or Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, or Wookiee Life Day) memories? Did an entire booster box feel like a big deal? How about a Starter deck in your stocking? A pack at the grocery store? Leave it in the comments and let's see who was spoiled as a kid and who did what I did and mowed lawns for a whole summer to buy a display box of Fourth Edition Starter Decks (I needed lands, OK?)

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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8 thoughts on “Better Than Christmas

  1. For me, it was Yu-Gi-Oh!. It took a few years until my Mom realized that all she needed to buy were insane numbers of booster packs for me to be the happiest kid in the world ok Christmas. The most memorable was basically a scavenger hunt ok Christmas morning, where every pack had a clue to the location of the next one. After what had to have been 40 different boosters from varying sets, I sealed myself in my room for the rest of the day making a dozen various (awful) decks.

    In more current times, my mom just gives me cash and asks what I plan to invest it into, then pretends to understand when I explain my elaborate plot to turn the Christmas cash into at least double its original value for my collection.

  2. I am a 30 year old man with a wife and daughter and full time professional employment, and I will attest to the fact that age has little to do with the excitement to be found in the opening of even a single booster pack, much less a box! I recently started playing magic a couple months ago after some friends found their old collections while cleaning a shed. They invited me to try it out and despite my mocking them all the way to the table, I am now hooked! Lol. I recently purchased my first fat pack (that I got on sale for only $30 whoop whoop) and I am not ashamed to say that I audibly giggled when I arrived home to find my package waiting for me. The feeling of cracking a fresh booster pack is awesome! Especially when señor Brimaz, King of Orezkos is peering at you from within only your second booster of the fat pack! (beginner’s luck anyone?) But even when your booster sucks its still such a fun and exciting feeling to wonder what is lurking within and then to find out! There’s nothing quite like it in the world of hobby and recreation IMHO. Sure purchasing individual cards at the shop or trading cards can be fun too. But there’s something special about a booster.

    1. You convinced me. I have been wanting to buy a Holiday Gift Box for the box and dividers but thought it was overpriced due to having boosters in it. I\’m gonna buy one.

  3. My friends and I like to purchase a box to do sealed. Usually there are 3 of us. We end up playing multiplayer. First to get 3 game wins gets the rest of the box. We can also supplement our decks by ante up another $5 per pack to build with.

    I tell you, that winner takes all strategy is a lot of fun and brings that old feeling back. “Bwaaaaahhhhh!!!! I got my third win!!!!!”

  4. I got a booster box of Mercadian Masques for Christmas after it came out. Prior to that I had never gotten more than 12 packs at a time (usually 4-6 was all I could afford at any one purchase).
    Yes, that set was just as bad then as it seems now 🙂
    Getting a box is still a big deal. My wife and I typically get 1 box per new set and open the packs over the course of a couple of weeks. We do 2-person Limited ‘date nights’ to see who can build the best deck using 6 packs, so a box gives us three fun evenings of entertainment… unless one of us opens two planeswalkers and a god, then one of us has a slightly less fun evening, but that’s another story 😉

  5. Bah, after reading this and Daniel Cs comment I had to crack a few boosters. I won the pre-release at my LGS but found the current draft set boring so they have just been lying around. Opened one Theros and one Born, got Temple of Malice and Boon Satyr, not the worst rares.

    I started playing (again after quitting in 98) when Avacyn was released and cracked a lot of displays in the beginning. Now I only ever open boosters when drafting, more economical that way.

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