My parents made a relatively big deal of Christmas. They always gave us gifts that they knew we would like, and I remember them sitting on the couch, drinking whatever they drank in the mornings, watching us play. Dad would sometimes play with us, if the toy required assembly, etc. They would sit and watch us, at some ungodly hour of the morning, as we played with our new toys.
As a kid, I always thought that adults got the shaft. They would just sit around, watching us, and they didn't get anything from Santa. I didn't understand how they could be so happy.
Today, I do.
Today, I assembled a train set for my daughter. It was not difficult, as it was manufactured by Fisher-Price. It has tracks that include a hill, a windmill and a factory, and two engines and 4 cars. Okay, here's the cool thing: the main, larger engine is battery-powered, and there is a remote switch that controls it. After about 10 minutes, my daughter is now making the train start and stop around the track. Every time she makes it stop, she says, "huh?" even though she is the one who made it stop, and she knows it.
Oh, and now she has just figured out the manual switch on the tracks, to make the train go up the hill, instead of under it. Smart girl.
And just a minute ago, I was standing there with her Papa, smiling down at her as she played with her new toy, and I was completely overjoyed.
I think parents give gifts at Christmas so that they can see pure, unadulterated joy in their children's eyes.