To hear Lisa read your letter click here.
To my darling holiday child,
Today is New Year’s day. Did you get much sleep? I love having you here with us on this first day of 2015. Come here, let’s have a big giant hug! Put your feet up, and come sit by our fireplace, I have something I want to tell you….
You are a grand and wonderful human being. I love you for exactly who you are.
In my home you are free to express yourself just as you are: your dress, your hairstyle, tattoos and piercings if you have them! I accept all of you.
Know that my heart and soul wish for you, for the coming year, is to understand that deep down, to your very essence, you are a shining bright light of love and joy. Deep down. When you feel lonely or sad, know that I will always love and accept you, and those whom you love.
Are you chilly? Here, let me wrap you up in this cozy blanket. Better? Good. Now I have one more thing to tell you…
Throughout the last few months, I have been collecting and posting the amazing letters that your holiday moms have been sending to this website, and I have read every single comment from every reader that has been posted. I have cried right along with you, and held you in my arms and held on tight. I have seen your smile and felt your happiness as you read these words of love from all of the moms here. It has been my honour and privilege to be a small part of comfort and peace that has come your way this holiday season. It has been just incredible to witness the outpouring of absolute pure love and acceptance for you!
Take all of this love and acceptance into the world. Carry it with you in your heart. Know that you can always come back here anytime to dip yourself into the warm glow of it all.
I love you to the moon and back.
Your Holiday Mom
Happy New Year! I love New Year’s Day. For me, it’s a chance to start over, to begin afresh, to turn the calendar to a smooth, clean, blank page and start imagining how I will fill it up as the months go by. New Year’s Day is also a chance to bring closure to the past year, and to reflect on my successes, my mistakes, the joys and the sorrows.
For many years, I kept a New Year’s journal that I would only write in once a year. Each entry began with a record of how I spent that New Year’s Eve. The rest was devoted to how the past year went, with its accomplishments, highlights and special events, along with the goals I wanted to set for the year to come. What a way to look back on your life, and what a way to see how humble most of my New Year’s Eve celebrations tend to be. I fantasize about attending glamorous parties, wearing something glittery and metallic, drinking a bubbly beverage and dancing to elegant music; in reality, 9 times out of 10 the midnight hour finds me singing “Auld Lang Syne” in my pajamas.
And there’s no problem with that, except that I keep thinking my holiday (and my whole life, really) has to look like what I see on TV. Well, it doesn’t. In fact, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop caring so much what the “script” says I should be doing, what I should be feeling, and whom I should be loving. I hope you can join me in ripping up that script by ringing in this New Year with my family!
I hope you’ve packed something warm, because we are headed to Minnesota. I live in Illinois with my son, but we travel home to the home of my mother and stepfather (your Holiday Grandparents) in St. Paul for the holidays. They are extremely devoted grandparents and love to dote on their grandson. When we come in, the house feels warm and usually smells like some delicious food. Please come on in and relax and join us!
My mother believes that even if you spend New Year’s Eve at home, it should still have a festive, party atmosphere, so she serves appetizers for dinner. Please help yourself to some Swedish meatballs, maybe with a bit of pickled herring on the side. Don’t forget the feta cheese and olives; it’s tricky being of both Scandinavian and Greek heritage in Minnesota, but we do our best. If you still have room for dessert, my mom will have several varieties of cookies for you to sample. Here’s my contribution this year: peppermint-flavored butter cookies dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. Who needs champagne?
Sometimes we play a game or two on New Year’s Eve, typically charades. Sometimes we go around the room and each family member talks about a particularly memorable moment from the past year. But our favorite game is making up New Year’s resolutions for each other. Each person writes a short list of resolutions intended for everyone else on a piece of paper, folds it in half, and writes the intended family members’ name on the outside. They all go into a hat and each person draws out the resolutions written for them and reads them out loud. Sometimes the results are hilariously silly (“I resolve to wash my socks at least once a month”), and sometimes they are thinly disguised motherly advice (“I resolve to get more rest”), but it’s always fun to read them aloud.
Around this time, some of us go to bed and the diehards try to stay up until midnight. Please feel free to do whichever you wish, but I hope you’ll stay up with me and maybe write in your journal (you did bring it with you, didn’t you?).
Perhaps your 2014 was difficult; mine certainly had its moments. As we write in companionable silence, with the lights of the tree quietly twinkling in the living room, I hope that you can take this chance to bring it to a close and look forward to a bright new year in 2015, filled with fresh opportunities, new friends, and abundant love. What a great way to go to sleep on New Year’s Eve!
New Year’s morning is a really fun day in our household. There’s none of the bustle of Christmas Day, because all the presents have been opened. We can have a leisurely breakfast with plenty of coffee, in our pajamas. My mother (or sometimes I) will be busy in the kitchen preparing Vasilopita, a sweet Greek egg bread that is traditionally baked for January 1. The baker hides a coin inside, and whoever gets the coin in their slice has special good luck in the coming year. Somehow my son has managed to get the coin almost every year of his life; this year, I have a feeling you are going to get the coin—and when you do, I hope you’ll carry it in your pocket as a reminder that you are valued, you are loved, there is a place and a family and a community for you, and you can have an abundantly happy life without following society’s “script.”
Thank you for joining my family to ring in 2015. I wish you joy and peace in this New Year, and the fulfillment of your dearest wishes.
First of all, Happy Holidays! How are you? Are you eating? Are you hydrating? Are you resting enough? Are you bundling up? We mothers worry about these things, often to a fault. (Remember that scene in A Christmas Story where the mom wraps Randy up so tight he can’t put his arms down…yeah. Been there, done that!)
We’re all very excited around here for the holidays. Lydon, your four-year-old Holiday Brother, has really just gotten into the whole thing with a little help from a mischievous Elf on the Shelf named Cinnamon. It’s very fun watching him discover the magic of Christmas every morning, searching the house before school to find what Cinnamon has gotten up to during the night. Seeing him get so excited about the holidays takes me back to a time when everything around this time of year was magical, every puff of breath that floated up on chilled air was delightful, every wreath and tree was cause for celebration, and every day was marked off on the calendar with a precise red ‘X’. Lydon brings that out in me though. He’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me, the most precious gift I’ve ever received. But don’t worry, my sweet Holiday Child, there’s plenty of love to go around here. In fact, there’s so much extra just hanging around every day, we’ve decided to use some of it up and adopt a puppy this holiday season. We’ve been considering it for a while now, and whether it was the spirit of the season or the spirit of a mischievous Elf, something made us decide this was the year. Lydon doesn’t know yet, so keep it a secret, alright? Just between you and me, alright?
We’ve not yet decorated our house this season, so there’s plenty of work to do! And there’s a fireplace in our new house! A real, honest to goodness fireplace where we can hang all the stockings and Santa can come down the chimney–oh, remind me, we might ought to have that cleaned before the Jolly Elf pays his visit. I hear soot is very difficult to get out of red velvet and fur. I suppose I should just warn you now, your dear Holiday Mom has gone a bit cross-stitch crazy this season. Everyone and their brother is getting a cross-stitched something or other. But, since you are my favorite Holiday Child, I’ll let you decide if you’d prefer baked goods or not. Cookies and chocolate covered peanut butter balls? Yep. It’s official. You and me were meant to be Holiday Family, kid. Stick with me and I’ll keep you in cookies until February.
I’ve managed to dust off the stockings and there’s one with your name on it to go up on the mantle. It’s cross-stitched. I told you, cross-stitch crazy. I didn’t know if you’d like the one with the snowmen or the reindeer, so I compromised and went with Snoopy. Who doesn’t love Snoopy, right? That reminds me, I need to get out all of the Christmas movies for our annual marathon. National Lampoons, Charlie Brown, the classic clay-mation cartoons, and yes, Grumpy Old Men. It’s a Christmas movie, I tell ya! A classic, at that! After the marathon, there’s the traditional opening of one present from under the tree on Christmas Eve. This year we might have to open all but Santa’s on Christmas Eve though. Jason, your Holiday Dad, has to work on Christmas Day. He’s disappointed that he won’t get to spend the morning opening gifts with you and Lydon, but even on holidays, people call for an ambulance. Actually…especially on holidays the call for an ambulance. You wouldn’t believe some of the stories he brings home. But I’ll let him tell you.
It’s been a long year this time around. For everyone it seems. Our family endured its share of set backs and sad times, and it pains me to know that you have as well. But let me tell you, your Holiday Mom sure didn’t raise a quitter. I know you’ve got the strength to keep going, no matter how much you might want to just give up the fight. Know that in those moments, I’ll be there with you, for you. That’s what Holiday Family is for, my sweet. Remember that. Know that. Live that. Even if we just get to speak during the holiday season, I am always thinking about you. I am always rooting for you, in your corner. I know you’re probably “too cool for hugs” now, but I have one for you anyway. Humor your Holiday Mother.
I’ll tell you what I tell Lydon every day: I love you, Holiday Child, to the moon and past the stars and through the milky way and beyond, I love you. You matter, you exist, you are important to me, to us. You are not alone, not even if you feel alone. See, you’re stuck with us now, Holiday Child. Stuck with our love, our support, our acceptance, our unwavering belief in you. You’re stuck with us, and we’re stuck with you, all year long. We won’t just think of you on holidays, but every day. We won’t just love you on Christmas, but all year long. You’re my Holiday Child, and you are loved.
Now, remember to stay warm or face being bundled up by Holiday Mom. And remember to eat when you can, stay hydrated, and stay strong. Remember to care for yourself, to love yourself as much as I love you. I know you’re busy, so give your Holiday Mom and big squdge before heading off, okay?
I love you Holiday Child.
Miller, Your Holiday Mom
Let me preface this letter with an apology, I am about to quote an abnormal amount of Disney movies as I am a first time mom and they’ve taken over my life. You are now my holiday child, and from this day forth you can call me your Disney Mama, and I will forever be here to light up your life with cheesy quotes, catchy songs, and overall humor.
Now to get started – as I type this there is a tiny one year old pointing at the screen in an attempt to include her baby babbling input, and I imagine if you were here you would be assisting us put ornaments on the tree/helping me stop her from licking the not so scrumptious tree. The smell of balsam is blasting throughout the house, not just from the tree but also from the twelve, yes twelve, plug-ins purchased to add that extra oomph of scent to the house! My boyfriend, daughter and I live in a small apartment, but will always have room for you, come hell or high water we will be there for you. The holidays tend to be a difficult time, especially if you feel alone, misunderstood or unwelcome, and to that I say know that you are loved, accepted, and always welcomed. Consider me like Buzz and Woody – you’ve got a friend in me.
I admire your bravery; coming out is not an easy thing to do. When I was in elementary school, my older sister came out as gay. At ten, those words don’t mean much, I looked at her like “okay, well you’re still my sister.” There were people who understood, and people who didn’t, but she always knew she had ohana (oh geez, here with go with another Disney quote). Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind, OR forgotten. In 2012, she had more life changing news for our family – she is a transgender male. For some people, it was a hard pill to swallow, but to me, as long as I had my older sibling, I was just along for the ride. If there is any one thing you can take away from this, it is that no matter what, as long as you are comfortable and happy with yourself, the people who matter most will be with you like branches on a tree. I am a proud little sister with an older brother whose journey was different than my own, but still lives a fulfilled life, and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.
I end this letter with this message: “There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.” – Disney’s “Brave”
Happy holidays, I love you!
Your Disney Mama, AKA Chloe
Although we have never met, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts.
First, you are unique, and a beautiful soul. I know that because I believe it of all beings. You have many gifts and talents and are here for a purpose. And I suspect you are aware of that, or are gaining awareness of it.
Please consider that whatever your thoughts and feelings, they should be honored because they originate from a beautiful soul. It does not matter whether or not people make judgments or assumptions. What matters is that you are true to being who you are.
There may be times in your life when you will wish you were someone else, maybe smarter, more creative, whatever. But remember this. You are given an opportunity to shine brightly just by being yourself. Never be afraid of that. As you grow into adulthood, you will find that inner strength and courage. But right now, find people who see that in you already, and see that also in other kids. Make those bonds that honor who you are.
It is not easy to feel “different”, and I imagine you have many stories to tell around that. I am not LGBTQ, and so I cannot tell you I know how it feels. What I can tell you though, is that I have many friends who are and have shared with me what they go through on a daily basis. They are strong people and rely on their community for strength and support. I have admired their willingness to be themselves, and to walk that road of authenticity. Through their stories, I have gained an appreciation for their lives that I would not have had, were they not themselves. So be yourself and make a difference.
As you know, there are no closets anymore. So know that you do have friends you have not yet met – people who are trying to also be authentic and real in their own lives and ways. In this way, we do stand together and are never alone.
Blessings to you, bright shining light. And may this season be one of joy and great adventure.
I am honored to have been chosen to be your holiday mom. I am also a teacher and a mom to a teenage son. Many young people come through my classroom and many teenagers come through my front door. My greatest hope is that my students and visitors feel accepted and safe. I extend that to you.
It is my belief everyone should be loved and accepted for who they are. Self-acceptance is hard for everyone especially when you are young, don’t worry it gets better when you older. Just remember to love yourself even when it sometimes feels that others don’t understand. When people don’t understand they sometimes don’t accept. But, overtime they will understand.
During this holiday season the greatest gift is to love you. Smile every day, take a deep breath and stand up tall. You are a gift and a treasure on this world.
Your adopted Mom
To listen to Andi reading your letter, click here.
My dear darling adopted holiday child,
This holiday season you may find yourself surrounded by people who don’t quite understand you. I would like to invite you into a warm and loving space, where you can feel free to be whoever it is you truly are. Where you will feel loved and supported. A place that you can come and stay and leave, but come to when you are ready. I would like you to feel at home.
The holidays, for me, aren’t about how much money you spend on someone. It is about spending your most valuable currency – time. About sharing things that make a memory, and I have that here for you. I hope this letter serves as a warm lantern along the path of your life, and I pray that when you hear me you’ll know you can visit this memory for years to come. You are miraculous for just being. I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of you for waking up and choosing to continue your fight. My support and dedication to you will never waver.
I hope this year you find yourself in a community filled with love and I hope you remember my words to you. My gift to you this year is total acceptance, no matter what category you identify with most, know that if it keeps you healthy and happy you will always have me by your side.
All of my love this holiday season
I wanted to let you know how proud I am of you. It is not an easy to tell your family your sexual orientation. I am so sorry to hear that your family doesn’t accept you for who you are. They should be proud of you for knowing who you are.
When I was a teenager, my neighbours were lesbians. A lot of my friends would comment on how it was against their religion but my family always taught me that it didn’t matter what your skin colour was or your sexual orientation all that mattered was what kind of person you were inside. I was very impressionable at that age and I became further and further indoctrinated by their religion. I began to question my family’s beliefs. My neighbours were out gardening and they asked me if I would like to help them. We spent six hours together talking and gardening. I saw that they were people too and that it didn’t matter who they loved they were good people. That’s all that mattered. After that day I began to question the church. Church leaders couldn’t come up with answers for me. They couldn’t give me a good reason as to why their god wouldn’t love everyone and wouldn’t judge. At that point it was clear I had to be who I am. I can’t change how I feel and what they believed differed from what I believed. You should never feel that you have to change who you are because it differs from others.
All members of my immediate family are strong advocates for the LGBTQ community. My dad was a high school teacher and saw a lot of students being bullied because they were ‘gay.’ He is now an author and his main character is ‘gay.’ He wanted to show how we are all people who just want to be loved and accepted.
My own children are four and six. They have asked us on numerous occasions if two girls or two boys can kiss. We always reply, “of course they can. It doesn’t matter.” These are our beliefs and I want my children to grow up being accepting of all people. I want you to know that there are families out there who accept you and who welcome you with loving arms. You are not alone.
Christmas Eve would start with a day at the slopes snowboarding. In the evening we would each open one gift. My kids would put out home made Star Wars shortbread cookies for Santa and a glass of milk. Then we would head outside with little bags full of oats and sparkly glitter so the reindeer could see where our house was and have a little snack while they are waiting for Santa.
Christmas morning would start bright and early and the smell of cinnamon buns would spread through the house. Our children would open their gifts and stockings. They would head to the table to see Santa’s letter he left them. We would play new board games received and enjoy a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes and fresh fruit. If you were to come to my house, my parent’s house or my brother’s house for Christmas dinner, you would smell the turkey roasting in the oven. There would be roast potatoes, bacon wrapped sausages, fresh bread and many desserts to choose from. Presents would be opened, coffee would be brewed and conversation would go on from the time you walked in through the door till the time you left. After dinner, we would head to the local ice rink or take the dog for a walk to wear off some of the food. During this holiday season please know that we will be thinking about you and know that you are loved, valued and appreciated.
Your holiday mom & family
This note is from your Shamama, the creator of this site and the voice behind our video. This year, I’ve created something special for you and anyone who would love to take one minute to find comfort, love, encouragement and calming. My 50 One-Minute Meditation App has me speaking directly to you, offering support. It JUST launched today… I hope you enjoy!
With Love, Shamama
Click HERE for Apple!
Click HERE for Android!
Don’t use apps? No worries, visit RobinRice.com to find the website version!
Meditation Topics Include:
let it go + quiet the inner critic + center after an upset + release worry + surrender to what is + find inner peace + calm fight or flight + stop doing, start being + cool down anger + slow racing thoughts + ground to the earth+ stream of gratitude + cleanse in rain + harness the power of wind + call forth your true self + call up your inner warrior + realign with your purpose + gather your courage + indulge in self-care + honor your gut truth + allow your vision to guide + be who you are + honor your gifts and talents + melt blocks and resistances + release memories that haunt + soothe your weary soul + restore after burnout + release guilt + hold another in light and love + breathe through pain + move beyond disappointment + listen to your body + connect to higher self + open to magic and synchronicity + tune into your intuition + heart centered awareness + cultivate compassion + call upon inner wisdom + a moment of pure grace + forgive yourself + forgive others + invite in the new + pat on the back from Robin + accepting your true self + open to creativity + prepare your mind to learn + let your inner beauty shine + cultivate true wealth + calming fears for parents + release a nightmare + be okay with being different
Plus Three Bonus Wordless Audios: wordless fire + wordless ocean + wordless wind