Family celebrates homecoming with springtime white Christmas

WASHINGTON — Most of us couldn’t stand the thought of more snow last Tuesday, especially given the 2014 winter the Washington area experienced and the fact that according to the calendar spring had sprung. But as the snow fell on March 25, it was an answer to a prayer for one Woodbridge family celebrating Christmas in March — a springtime Christmas.

The Kilareski family had a great reason for holding off their Christmas celebration until March 25. “Because daddy came home in March and we wanted to wait,” little Sarah Kilareski explains.

Air Force Major John Kilareski had been deployed to the Middle East. His kids, Matthew and Sarah, basically held a vigil while he was away by not wanting to celebrate both of their October birthdays until their dad came home. But Kilareski’s seven-month deployment then turned into a 10-month deployment.

“So they picked this date back in December that Christmas would be on March 25,” says their mom, Carrie Kilareski. But she took some heat from others and had to tell them that this was 100 percent Sarah and Matthew’s idea.

“Nobody could believe that but it really was just our children did not want to open a single present until their daddy came home,” she says.

Matthew and Sarah’s mom kept telling them, “You know you’re putting your love for your daddy over getting gifts and that is pretty amazing, I think. And that’s really showing what it is all about.”

With all of the snow over the last few months, she would tell friends and “it’d be funny if we had snow for a white Christmas.” But “they’re like no. And then we got closer and we saw the forecast and my son said I’m going to pray that it’s going to be a white Christmas,” she says.

At church last Sunday, her son asked his Sunday School class to pray for snow. “Of course everybody was like, what are you talking about. It’s March,” she says. “So he explained that we were celebrating Christmas on March 25 because his daddy just came home.”

Mother Nature answered that prayer. On March 25, the Kilareskis played Christmas music and there was snow coming down as they opened Christmas presents.

“It really felt like Christmas,” she says. “This whole thing has been really amazing. I am still amazed at my children’s love that they choose to wait on their daddy then the gifts. I know that’s something I’ll never forget.”

But Sarah Kilareski says it wasn’t hard to wait for her dad who’s been in the Air Force for 16 years. He returned home on March 14.

As for a white Christmas in March, he says, “Yes, that was crazy.” But what his kids did for him fill his heart? “It sure does.It really does,” he says.

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