The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
I first read this book in a bookstore to Rebecca when she was about 7 or 8. I remember thinking that the pictures in this book were so dark and creepy, but I absolutely adored them. The pictures really tell the story as well. I know what it's like waiting for morning to come on Christmas day. But the trip that boy makes is one in a lifetime and it also shows how cynical we as adults can be around the holidays. We lose that little kid mentality when we have to shop and bake and entertain.
And yes, I cried at the end of this book. Because I want to believe again.