There is nothing like a child's excitement on Christmas morning. It's truly a thing of beauty. Case in point; back when my son Will was two, after he had already unwrapped a bunch of presents, he came to a large cylindrically shaped package which concealed a tub of Lincoln Logs. As he started ripping the wrapping paper off he let out a squeal of delight and exclaimed, "Cat litter!!"
Marjorie and I were reduced to hysterics. After all our planning and shopping, Will would have been genuinely and sincerely thrilled to have gotten the gift of cat litter for Christmas. Heck, he probably wouldn't have cared if it was fresh cat litter or not. Of course this was the one moment that morning we failed to capture on video, so it's a memory I make an extra effort to treasure.
This year, our two year old daughter Amelia has discovered Will's set of Thomas the Tank Engine Trains. As you can see, there is a lot to discover. This is very good news as far as I'm concerned. Will had kind of moved past his Thomas stage and this guarantees a bit more return on a considerable investment. And since Amelia has been playing with the trains, Will has once again become obsessed with them. So it looks like Santa will be bringing more presents from the Island of Sodor this year. (And maybe if Amelia is really good Santa will bring her a bucket of cat litter too.)
Roger Miller's sentimental Christmas song "Old Toy Trains" beautifully captures a young child's sense of anticipation on Christmas Eve. A few years ago Dean & Britta released a nice cover of it as a free MP3. I imagine it's still floating around in cyberspace somewhere. This version is by former Beach Boys' session musician Glen Campbell, and it's nice too.