Celebrate Christmas with Seasonal Demos (10-15 mins)

Task: Celebrate Christmas with Seasonal Demos

Needed: Demo software

Time: 10-15 mins


If you celebrate Christmas then you are in luck. There are several nice seasonal demos that you can download and run in Altirra. Even better, load these up on your favorite Atari 8-bit computer and leave them running during your holiday celebration. You friends and family will be so impressed! Regardless, these are really fun and some nicely show off the graphics capabilities of the 8-bit line. These are popular on other retro platforms as well. Here is a PC Magazine piece from a few years ago about these holiday demos. Many are listed here as well. Here is an Atari Age thread about Christmas demos.


  1. Atari Christmas Tree

Download this zip file and extract the ATR file. Start up Altirra with the BASIC cartridge attached. When you load the ATR file it should autoboot to a menu. Pressing start will reveal an uninspiring Christmas tree. When Merry Christmas appears press the space bar. This will boot a much more inspiring Christmas tree with animated snow.

Atari Christmas Tree
Atari Christmas Tree

2. Atari Jingle Bells  

Download this zip file and extract the ATR file. This one boots to a menu where you make a selection from a single item. Once selected the Jingle Bells Christmas Card will boot with animation and the song. 

Atari Jingle Bells
Atari Jingle Bells


These are really fun demos. I like both the Christmas tree and the Jingle Bells demo. I was unable to track down the original authors of these. There is very little info online about them. Finding the source code would be great as well. Let me know if you have additional information I can update this page with.

I tested both of these on original hardware using my SCIO2PC. Interestingly, the Christmas tree demo loads with a red background on my Atari 800 and 65XE. As you can see above, it loads with a black background on Altirra. I tried both Atari BASIC and BASIC XL and got the same result with both. Would be great to see the source code for this to understand why. Also, the Jingle Bells demo did not load on my Atari 800 but did work fine on my 65XE. I can’t believe it needs 64K of RAM! Again, would be great to see the source code.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Tree Demo on Atari 800
Christmas Tree Demo on Atari 800