My kids made out like bandits this year. I still remember when Santa brought me the Monster Manual (Easley cover) back in the day.
Each girl brought her copy on the car ride to Granny's house and on the way home we played a game where they would name a letter of the alphabet and I would try to guess how many creature entries there were for that letter.
We got as far as "S" before it was too dark to see anymore and I was quite pleased with myself, coming in within 1-3 of the correct answer in every case but "G" and "M". I even got in a mini-rant about why Uncle Gary would choose to list rhinocerous separately from Herd Animal.
Having never read a Monster Manual, my wife (who is more of a board gamer), wondered aloud, "Why would anyone ever go near the water in D&D?" I'd forgotten that practically half of the critters are aquatic (I also questioned the need for both Giant Gar and Giant Pike).
Anyway, it was cool to see a copies of my first excursion into the AD&D product line in the hands of my hobbits.