The Undeniable Magic of Christmas Train Sets

It’s significant to me, as a lifelong fan of model railroading, that on the first Christmas morning I remember, there was an American Flyer train set on the living room floor. It was a present for my brother, but that didn’t matter. It was still the neatest thing I had ever seen, and my love of trains started that day.

Train sets are magic on Christmas. Why is that? What is it about trains that make kids of all ages want them on Christmas? Why do many adults still put a Lionel train set under the Christmas tree and make sure it’s running smoothly before the kids come down the stairs?

The magic of Christmas train sets is undeniable. The sound of the wheels clicking over the rails and the sight of the train rolling among the presents and around the Christmas tree compels everyone to lie down and watch the train pass at eye level. The lights of the tree sparkling above the box cars, gondolas and tanks creates an indelible claim on the hearts of all.

There is a very important decision to be made before Christmas. “Do I set up the train and have it running on Christmas morning, or do I wrap the train set and let my child open it?” The answer is found in your Christmas Child Index Assessment Score.

Here, to assist you in this important decision, is The Christmas Child Index Assessment. Answer the following questions, give the appropriate score to each of your answers. After completing the assessment, follow the instructions for interpreting your Christmas Child Index Score.

  1. Do you love hot chocolate with peppermint sprinkles? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  2. Can you name Santa’s reindeer? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  3. Do you prefer steam over diesel? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  4. Do you understand Question #3? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  5. Have you been counting the days until Christmas since August? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  6. Do you like Eggnog? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  7. Do you know what the second car behind a steam engine is called? Yes ____ (10) Maybe ____ (5) No ____ (0)
  8. Is it easy for you to sleep on Christmas Eve? Yes ____ (0) Maybe ____ (0) No ____ (10)
  9. Total: Yes __________ Maybe ___________ No _________
  10. Multiply by 2: Yes__________ Maybe___________ No________
  11. Result:

Add your points for each answer, Yes, Maybe, No.
Multiply each total by 2.
Divide the answer by the square root of Jingle Bells.

Christmas Child Score Interpretation:
150 or above – very high
75 to 150 – above average
74 or below – average

Final Assessment Interpretation:
The square root of Jingle Bells = presents.

1. A very high score divided by presents means you are still a child. Set the train up for Christmas morning.
2. An above average score divided by presents means you love kids and trains. Wrap the train set for Christmas morning.
3. An average score divided by presents means you should not only wrap the train set, but also buy one for yourself.

Now you know whether to have the magic Christmas train set running through the presents on Christmas morning or wrap it so you can watch your child open it.

The magic of Christmas train sets is that they make us kids again. Giving trains to our kids is our wish for them that they never lose the child-like joy of Christmas.

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