Niantic introduced a special, limited-edition, Pokémon into Pokémon GO on December 12, 2016. Starting on that date, players could encounter a Pikachu that was wearing a festive hat. It looked like a Santa hat – and it made the already adorable Pikachu even more adorable!
I really wanted to catch at least one of these cute little guys. The event lasted through December 29, 2016. I have limited energy and three chronic illnesses, which make it difficult for me to go outside and walk around for long periods of time. My hope was that I would at least get the opportunity to try and catch one.
My husband and I called this Pokémon Holiday Pikachu. I guess the real name is Festive Pikachu.
The first indication that something new was happening in Pokémon GO was that a new intro screen had been added. There is a silhouette of a female player character in the background, holding a phone. She is standing next to a ladder that has a Clefairy on top of it.
It appears that the Clefairy flew up and wrapped Christmas lights around the spinning base of a PokéStop. Snorelax is standing next to the ladder (but might not actually be holding it.)
If you look closely, you can see Squirtle at the bottom of the ladder. I’m not sure if Squirtle is holding the ladder. He might be playing with the Christmas lights. It’s kind of amusing that these Pokémon felt the need to use a ladder at all – since Clefairy can fly. Off to the side of Snorlax, there is an Eevee starring at the Christmas lights.
There is a Pikachu who is wearing a Santa hat. Pikachu seems to have danced away with the end of the Christmas lights – and is using its own power to make them light up.
It took a while before I was able to even see a Festive Pikachu. To be fair, I didn’t go outside every day of the event, so I was limiting my own chances of catching one. Just when I was starting to think I’d never see one …. a Festive Pikachu appeared!
Catching this cute little guy was an adventure! My husband and I were returning home from playing Pokémon GO, when this Holiday Pikachu appeared literally at our front door.
I had one PokéBall left – and managed to capture the holiday Pikachu. Holding my breath, I watched the PokéBall. It shook once…. then twice…. and then the Holiday Pikachu broke free.
The ideal thing to do in this situation is throw another PokeBall at the little guy. But I had run out of PokéBalls. In a desperate attempt to keep Holiday Pikachu from running away, I stayed on the screen as my husband and I walked to the nearest PokeStop, hoping it would give me a few more PokéBalls.
The screenshot you see in this post is from when I was attempting to walk this holiday Pikachu to the PokéStop. C’mon, little guy! Stick with me for a while longer!
The problem, of course, was that I had to leave this screen in order to collect things from the PokéStop. Fortunately, the PokéStop gave me a few more PokéBalls to use. In the meantime, Holiday Pikachu disappeared.
Disappointed, but not giving up, my husband and I walked back home. Other Pokémon popped up, but not the Holiday Pikachu I was after. We got back home, and my phone buzzed.
Holiday Pikachu didn’t disappear! He went back to our house and waited for me to return to him with more PokéBalls. It was like he wanted to be mine. I don’t remember how many PokéBalls it took, but one of them worked. Not exactly a Christmas miracle – but made my night anyway.
I turned out that Pokémon GO doesn’t differentiate between Festive Pikachu and Pickachu. As you can see, it just says “Pikachu” on the card that gives information about this particular Pokémon. Festive Pikachu, and Pikachu, use the same kind of Pikachu Candy. This is probably why Festive Pikachu doesn’t appear in the Pokédex.