gifts for march sisters
































A "little cabinet piano ... with beautiful black and white keys ... and bright pedals." (Roland Kiyola oak piano).
A "band of sky-blue stones" to wear as a reminder not to be selfish. (Rosa de la Cruz turquoise eternity ring.)
A boxwood sewing kit, for mending tears and stitching the long seams of sheets.
A party dress with frills and a touch of real silk (Ulla Johnson Severine gown) or a sensible yet pretty skirt.
A length of silk velvet ribbon, to cover frizzled bangs or adorn a newborn baby.
Cards of gingerbread to nibble and plates of russets to eat while curled up on attic divans, reading.
A basket for corralling errant kittens.
A favorite story (The Pilgrim's Progess by John Bunyan.)
A pocket-sized pochade box for painting abroad. (Guerilla Painter pocket box and accessories.)
A little remembrance of beloved birds that died from neglect, perfect for keeping needles handy.
chest with a lock, to keep childhood treasures safe and vengeful sisters away from unfinished manuscripts.
Sturdy boots for running until your hairpins tumble out.
An edition of Undine worth the wait. (Undine by De La Motte Fouque, translated by W.L. Courtney and illustrated by Artur Rackham.)
A martin house to convert into a post office, for sharing "tragedies and cravats, poetry and pickles, garden seeds and long letters, music and ginger-bread, rubbers, invitations, scoldings and puppies" with next-door neighbors.
And, naturally, pickled limes.

*

For the truest March-sister Christmas: find a nearby food bank or some other way to share some comfort and joy.

"Merry Christmas, Marmee! Many of them! Thank you for our books. We read some, and mean to every day," they all cried in chorus. 
"Merry Christmas, little daughters! I'm glad you began at once, and hope you will keep on. But I want to say one word before we sit down. Not far away from here lies a poor woman with a little newborn baby. Six children are huddled into one bed to keep from freezing, for they have no fire. There is nothing to eat over there, and the oldest boy came to tell me they were suffering hunger and cold. My girls, will you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?" 
They were all unusually hungry, having waited nearly an hour, and for a minute no one spoke, only a minute, for Jo exclaimed impetuously, "I'm so glad you came before we began!"
... They were soon ready, and the procession set out. Fortunately it was early, and they went through back streets, so few people saw them, and no one laughed at the queer party. 
A poor, bare, miserable room it was, with broken windows, no fire, ragged bedclothes, a sick mother, wailing baby, and a group of pale, hungry children cuddled under one old quilt, trying to keep warm. 
How the big eyes stared and the blue lips smiled as the girls went in. 
"Ach, mein Gott! It is good angels come to us!" said the poor woman, crying for joy. 
"Funny angels in hoods and mittens," said Jo, and set them to laughing.