Christmas in March

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I was in the mood to do some early spring cleaning the other day. For those who know me, just get over that first sentence.

Yes, it’s true, I was actually in the mood to just cannon ball into the deep-end. I was really on a roll, the hand-me-down bags were bulging, enough dog hair to make a full length coat for an elephant had been swept, beds were stripped, sheets in the washer.

It was time to turn my attention to the small grove of trees that had reincarnated into piles of papers on my desk, the kitchen table, and dresser. As I sorted, tossed, and tore-up, I came across a holiday card written by our daughter Sally. It began “Dear Santa Claus.”


I realize it’s March, but stay with me.

Sally’s penciled thoughts continued in a southeast diagonal and filled the card:

In most places winter is cold and snowy and damp. Now, just saying winter, millions of children think of you – inspired. Forget Batman and Superman. You are the true hero. You put the spirit in everybody of race, religion, and econemy. The spirit of all lives live on through your actions. Not the presents but the smiles, laughter and thoughts of new doings, complete the perfect Christmas picture. All through the world I am reassured billions of dreams and hopes are set upon you and you never fail to create smiles of hopes and inspiring new passions.

P.S. in case you haven’t noticed, Janey hasn’t been very good this year.

I would like to believe even big, bald Mr. Clean himself would have paused his work and taken a minute to cherish this treasure.  In the rush of the holidays I never noticed this card. I was reading it for the first time, and Sally’s words brightened my day. It didn’t matter that this magical moment was made possible by weeks of procrastination and pile building.  I reread the card and accepted the gift.

We are told that the spirit of season should last throughout the year. I stuck the card in my bedside drawer, where I can read it today, in May, July, October, or whenever I want to be reminded of Sally’s words: “The spirit of all lives, live on through your actions. Not the presents, but the smiles, laughter, and thoughts of new doings….”

Take note parents. There it is, spelled out for us by a 10 year-old. I say if it’s good enough for Santa, it’s certainly good enough for us.

And the moral to my story:  Don’t beat yourself up for letting things pile up every now and again.  We receive the gifts we need at just the right times.

P.S. Janey was in fact very good last year.

Jill Fales is the mother of four and author of “My Laundry Museum & Other Messy Gifts of Motherhood.” Visit her at

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