Have a Helping of 8-bit Holiday Cheer! (2016 Edition)

‘Tis the season, and that means it’s time to push out the sixth annual Byte Cellar vintage computer Holiday demo video roundup so everyone can feel that warm, fuzzy, pixellated holiday glow. With scanlines. Enjoy!

I’ve been a computer geek for a long time now, but I’ve been enjoying The Holidays even longer.

I got my first computer, a TI-99/4A, on Christmas morning in 1982. I was 10 years old and from that Christmas on, it was nothing but games and computer hardware that I wanted Santa to leave me under the tree. On through my teenage years, part of my ritual for getting into the Holiday spirit was downloading and watching Christmas demos on whatever system I had at the time (and every platform out there had a few of them).

Enjoying these demos is a personal tradition that I had, sadly, long left behind until 2010 (the year before I began writing these posts) when I was inspired to seek out the demo I remember best, Audio Light’s 1985 musical slideshow for the Atari ST. With the help of an emulator, I captured it to share online with readers.

A year later, I fired it up again and watched it run through it’s 16-color, pixellated images and 3-voice musical holiday greetings. As I watched, it occurred to me that it might be nice to gather a few of the other demos I remember from the good ole’ days and present them here, in order to try to share some of the holiday cheer that they used to inspire within me.

The following list of demos ranges across a number of platforms of olde and includes the aforementioned Atari ST demo I recorded (see the first video of the 2011 collection). Happy holidays, and I hope you enjoy the shows!

The 2016 collection:


Atari Falcon – Wee Gift by The Pixel Twins (2016)


C64 – Dan Kovaks’ Christmas Demo (2011)


Tandy 1000 – A Tandy Bear Christmas (1988)


BBC Micro – Melvyn Wright’s Musical Snowmen


C64 – Electronic Christmas Card & Fireplace


Apple IIgs – Polymorph’s Christmas Demo


Amiga – 17 Bit Software’s Christmas Music (1989)

The 2015 collection:


MSX – MSXlegend Christmas Demo 2012


TI-99 – TI-99/4A Holiday Demos (2015) [ contest ]


Amiga – Amiga Xmas Syman


Atari ST- X-Mas MIDI Demo (1987)


Atari 8-bit- Rybagz’s Christmas Demo 2008


Atari ST – Xmas ’88 Demo


PC DOS – Xmas Demo ’90 by Cascada


MSX – Toshiba MSX-1 Xmas Demo


C64 – Merry Xmas from Micronet 800 (1986)


MSX – LarsThe18th Christmas Demo (2012)

The 2014 collection:


C64: Twisted Christmas II (1989) [ Stereo SID chips ]


C64: Christmas Around The World (1987)


C64: Christmas Special 1987


Commodore Pet: Musical Christmas Tree (CURSOR magazine) (1979)


Atari 8-bit: Merry Christmas Demo (1981)


Amstrad CPC: Christmas games and demos


Atari ST: BITS #34 Christmas 2007/8


C64: Lincoln Computer Club Merry Xmas demo


Apple IIgs: Snow – micro demo (2013)

The 2013 collection:


C64: A Twisted Christmas (1988) [ Nice stereo SID action ]


Atari 8-bit: Christmas Collection (1991)


C64: Waveform Christmas Hit Disk (1984)


Apple II: MUSE Santa demo (1980)


C64: Christmas Is Awesome demo (2012)


C64: Christmas Carols (1984)


Various: Season’s Greetings from The Glasgow School of Art (2013)


Tandy CoCo: Christmas songs and animations (1984)


Apple IIgs: FTA X-MAS Demo (1990)
[ The video is interactive – roll over it. A big thanks to Ken Gagne for this one! ]


ZX Spectrum: Computer Christmas Card (1985)

The 2012 collection:


Atari ST: Snowman demo (1987)


MSX: Snowfall demo (2003)


MSX: Christmas Eve demo

The 2011 collection:


Atari ST: Audio Light Christmas demo (1985)


C64: Seasons Greetings from Commodore (1982)


DOS PC: Sierra On-Line’s A Computer Christmas (1986)


C64: Magic Disk Christmas demo (1989)


Amiga: Psygnosis’ Holiday Lemmings 1993


C64: Jingle Disk Christmas demo


Sega Saturn: Christmas NiGHTS (1996)

May this holiday season bring you all faster modems and floppy disks galore!

Other Christmas computer fun out there on the web:

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4 Responses to Have a Helping of 8-bit Holiday Cheer! (2016 Edition)

  1. Pingback: Lon's Apple II yule log | Apple II Bits

  2. Pingback: Open Apple #66 (December 2016) : Glenda “The Atom” Adams | Open Apple

  3. Mark Excell says:

    My favourite demo is from the Amiga in the name of Phenomena. I can remember ordering the disk from a PD library and being wowed the first time I saw it. Even today I’m amazed how well the demo looks and how small the code it that provides the experience (some emails these days are bigger)

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