Valley Voices

Mommy’s letter to Santa: Please send concealer, cancer cure, condo in Anthropologie

Katie Flinn Gardner with her children, Noah and Sienna, and her husband, Jason.
Katie Flinn Gardner with her children, Noah and Sienna, and her husband, Jason. Special to The Bee

Dear Santa,

It’s been a great – but rough – year for me.

I am deciding to believe again in you because life is too short to discount miracles and magic from happening. Plus seeing how my children believe at this age is a little contagious.

Noah just turned 7 and has already demonstrated “the Christmas spirit,” as he calls it, by willingly offering to give some of the presents he doesn’t need to a boy he knows who has less.

Sienna, well, let’s say she isn’t quite into the giving spirit yet, more like taking but she’s 3, so I’m giving her a little break.

First my naughty list; I might as well get it over with:

▪  I’ve been pretty cranky this year. It’s been rough for me personally, and my work has taken a toll on my attitude.

▪  I haven’t been as patient with my kids as I could be. They do drive me crazy, but I should try to not yell so much. There’s another lump for me.

▪  I haven’t spent much time with my husband at all. We need this time, and he’s been on the end of the totem pole. He should be at the top along with me.

▪  I’ve had more Facebook time than I should. It’s sucking my brain, and I’m focusing on doing it less.

▪  I’ve neglected my self-care routine and rely toooooo heavily on under-eye concealer to hide this fact. My mom is onto me though, she tells me allllll the time how tired I look. Note: Maybe give me a year’s supply of concealer? No parabens please.

▪ I’ve scared my dog, Penelope, on a number of occasions with the very scary tone of my angry voice when she has eaten yet another pair of shoes. One time she peed on herself. That deserves two lumps, perhaps?

▪  I threw away almost alllll of my kids’ Halloween candy (that night).

There is more, but I’m stopping with my lucky number 7.

The Good List:

▪  I am an excellent mom (aside from cranky yelling at times).

▪  I help out in Noah’s classroom regularly and am involved in helping him excel in school.

▪  I spend two mornings a week just with Sienna to play and give her my time and love.

▪  I have made great strides to grow my business and take some hard roads to make sure it does so.

▪  I have been a good friend to those people in my life who are good to me.

▪  I am in a better habit of praying for what I need and sending love to those I know need it.

▪  I’m sure there’s more, and maybe this list should have come before the other Naughty List?

Now I do have some requests:

▪  I need a fancy silverware-tracking device, one that I can install in my husband’s car to track the endless spoons and forks that never make it home.

▪  I would also like a miracle cure for cancer, especially for my friend, Joan, whom I love dearly and am holding hope for every day.

▪  I was going to ask you for a French press but I love coffee and can’t wait until the 25th, so I already got one (yet another example of my lack of patience).

▪  I would also like some long, warm socks that make me smile and keep my ice-cold toes from getting frostbite.

▪  A supply of shoelaces and a credit at the local shoe-repair place in case Penelope (my shoe-chewing puppy) and I can’t work out her anxiety with Doga and some therapy for her issues.

▪  Hmmmm, oh yes, and I would like to be able to rent a changing room at Anthropologie a few nights a year. That way I can pretend I live there, walk around in the clothes and smell the candles. I want to imagine I am like the chicks in the magazines who can just do that all day.

So Santa, thanks for listening to my rant. I believe in you. At this age, really what I believe in is grace and I’m ready for a big dose!

Oh, and what kind of cookies do you like now? Please tell me you aren’t GLUTEN FREE!

Yours truly,


Katie Flinn Gardner is a regular, hardworking woman. She is the “mostly sane” mother of Noah and Sienna and the super lucky wife of Jason Gardner. Katie has been the proud mother and owner of COIL Yoga in Fresno for the last 14 years. She can be contacted at or via