Your Holiday Mom: MamaLyssa

This is truly one of our most FAVORITE times of the year. We celebrate many family birthdays, revel in the changing colors, snuggle by the fireplace on the rainy weekends, and enjoy the changing seasons, even though we don’t get much snow. This year is EXTRA special as YOU are with us. I was going to let it be a surprise, but I can’t keep it a secret that Bapa, Nana, Auntika, UncleB, Grandpa, Grandma, Auntie Trish, Uncle Ty, Uncle Shawn, Auntie Steph, Great Gramps and Gran Tompkins and all the kids will also be joining us for the day and dinner!!

We hope you love animals, too, because we have five! Three dogs, a cat and a leopard gecko!! It’s a zoo around here … We have a ton of fun together and hope you’re ready for lots of hugs and love. The Holiday music will be on to welcome everyone as they arrive on Christmas morning. We’ll have cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, orange juice and coffee, then open gifts which will be a whirlwind!! (If you’re like me, you’ll want to take your time and savor the moments, though.) We hope you love everything we’ve picked out for you! After the wrapping is cleared away, of course Christmas movies will be turned on while getting dinner ready. What foods are you most looking forward to this holiday? If you tell me, I can be sure to have them for you!

Our Christmas dinner is very similar to what we make for Thanksgiving. For sure Daddy Chris will roast the turkey on the Big Green Egg (while Uncle Ty “supervises” with a beer in hand!) plus make his famous spicy gravy and garlic mashed potatoes, Grandpa will bring his delicious Bean Dip, Nana will make her Butter Dip Biscuits, Grandma will bring her pumpkin pie, Great Gran will bring a berry pie (because that’s Bapa’s fave!), Auntika will make her Sweet Potato Casserole, Auntie Trish will bring some gluten-free goodness, Uncle Shawn will make his amazing ceviche, I’ll make my yams (YUM!) and green bean and bacon casserole (it was a hit last year). There will be leftovers, so no one will go hungry for days … it’s truly a feast!

The food aside, we love playing silly card games and laughing at cat videos, jumping on the trampoline, having Nerf wars, wrestling with Uncle B, and taking short naps on the couch (though that means we have to endure the snoring!). We’ll savor the day, share memories, hear stories from the Grands’ travels, and hope that you’ll tell us a few things about you. If you’d like, we can even soak in the hot tub for a bit!

We’ll get you settled in the guest room so you can be cozy and secure for the night. If you’d like, the dogs would be happy to keep you company and will burrow under the covers by your feet! Regardless, we’re so happy to have you with us and can hardly wait to make new and lasting memories with YOU, precious one!

You are SO loved … just the way you are, beautiful and whole … a gift to us and this world.

xo MamaLyssa



  1. Aphrodite says:

    Hello there! I am 15 years old and I recently realised that i am pansexual. I had convinced myself that i am straight but then i started finding my self having feelings for other girls or even homosexual people. And I came to the conclusion that I am pansexual. I wanted to share that with my family and I told my mother but she didn’t even believe me. She thinks it is a phase or that i do this for fun. It seems to me that no-one realises that this is how I feel. And my mom’s reaction made me feel rather uncomfortable. Although my friends don’t know about that I feel weird around them. How would they treat me if they found out? Ofcourse I know that if they really are my friends they will accept me for who I am but still…

    • Auntie Hay says:

      Hey Aphrodite-
      I’m so glad you found your way here. Be patient and kind to yourself, first and foremost…. 15 is a tough age in general, and as a CIS person I can’t even fully imagine the added stress you must be under. Please know that while I haven’t been in your shoes, I am honered to stand by you now and support you as you continue to discover your beautiful truth and find all the love this world has to offer you.
      If you feel uncomfortable telling people, you don’t have to. There is no rush to anything. If you do decide to share with people, whatever their reaction, remember all of us are here celebrating your joy, and giving you a shoulder to lean on if you are hurting.
      I am beaming hugs to you this morning, and wishing you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year full of adventure and joy.
      All my love,
      Auntie Hay

  2. Ari says:

    I’ve struggled to come to terms with my sexuality all year and also have come to realize that I do not know any fellow lgbtq+ people or allies and it so isolating. I’ve given up on finding someone to fall in love with. I can’t talk to anyone about it. I can’t talk to my mom, I can’t talk to my sisters. My sexuality is the default wrong to them. I love them more than anything in the world, and I feel like if I ever got into a relationship with a woman I would lose my whole family. Right now I can’t decide if it’s worth the sacrifice. I know I’m dumping a lot of random information out here, but this is the only time this year I tried sharing what I’m going through with someone else. I feel safe sharing my experience here, and I just wanted to say that you all are absolutely wonderful human beings. thank you for creating this space on the internet <3

    • Mama Sheree says:

      Ari- thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us. I am so glad that you found us, and that you feel safe to be yourself here. Sometimes, just being able to talk to someone about what’s been bottled up inside of us can make us feel a little better. When you feel alone, remember that there are many here who love you just the way you are.

  3. Alex says:

    Hello there, mum. Thank you ever so much for accepting me. I’ve been hiding in the closet for a long while now and am truly terrified to come out to others. I feel very alone and unsafe in the world around me but you make me feel welcome and comfortable. Most everyone dislikes me for the way I am and have dealt with constant bullying at school. However, this doesn’t stop me from acting a little wild at times. I love to draw and listen to music, and enjoy all of the festive tunes! Animals keep me calm though. I’m sorry if I sound a little strange, I’m just overly happy about having someone that will be here for me regardless of who i am. I can’t seem to find the right words to describe how joyful I am to be accepted. So all I can really say at this moment, is thank you. Thank you so so much.

    • Brigid says:

      Hey Alex,
      You are so very welcome! You just keep on being you, and people will learn to accept you exactly as you are! If they don’t, they are missing out on knowing a great, brave, fun, creative person! There are millions of people in this big crazy world who accept you exactly the way you are! Over time you’ll meet lots of them and knock their socks off with your great personality! Hugs!

  4. Dakota says:

    I actually love animal and plan to own quite a few when i’m older, too! and Thank you so much mom for accepting me into your home! Around where i am it’s difficult to cheer myself up during the holidays because my parents refuse to address to me as their son and my other relatives don’t even know, so i really appreciate this!
    This is personally my first year here because i was too nervous to stop by last year, but i’m more than excited to be able to make new memories with you! I have a bit of social anxiety though so sorry if i dont talk too much at first ;w;

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      To my dear holiday nephew Dakota,

      I’m so glad you’re here and that you found us! There are plenty of places around here to curl up in some cozy warm blankets, fuzzy slippers, and a friendly pet if you want to relax but aren’t up for socializing at the moment. Our love is still all around you, and some of us holiday aunts and uncles and moms need a break occasionally, too. 🙂

    • MamaLyssa says:

      My dear Dakota,

      Thank you for being brave enough to share your heart and let us welcome you into our family this Holiday. You are such a valuable and VERY special part of this world … don’t lose hope!

      Every time you start to feel anxious or sad, please remember how loved you are and that you matter to US. We will hold space for you as long as you need it.

      Many hugs!

      XOXO MamaLyssa

  5. Kaelan says:

    Hi mom,
    I’ve been coming here every holiday season for a few years but it’s the first time I write back, and I wanted to say thank you for the difference it makes. Holidays can be hard, especially when home doesn’t feel too safe, but having this family, here, makes it so much better. Your family sounds lovely, and I love animals, so this sounds like what I wish I had. Your traditions do sound like a lot of fun, and I have to say I have an amazing aim so nerf wars definitely are something I’m excited about! I love listening to travel stories and places that I have yet to see, and I have a few I could share, even though they’re mostly from school trips. I also love holiday music, christmas movies are awesome as well. To tell you everything, autumn and winter are my favourite seasons, and relaxing with a good book by the fireplace with a cup of tea is definitely something I look forward to. I’ll make sure to bring my camera to snap as many candid shots as I can! I’m so glad I have found your family to belong to this holiday season. Here’s to many happy memories this december, thanks to you.


    • Brigid says:

      Hi Kaelan,

      So glad you find this place uplifting! I’m new here myself, but I sure love reading the letters and responses from charming people like you. I love to travel myself, although I don’t get to do it very much. Sometimes hearing others tell about their adventures is almost as good, isn’t it? I’m sorry to hear that your home doesn’t always feel safe. Please look after yourself and know that you are 100% perfect just as you are. Don’t let anyone tell you you are not fabulous, because even though we’ve never met, I believe in you and your potential to be an amazing influence in this world. Keep reading, keep Nerfing, and keep on being great! Happy Holidays!

    • MamaLyssa says:

      Sweet Kaelan,

      What a joy to have you with us this year! The fun we have as a family this Holiday will be even better now that you’re joining us. You and I are so much alike as a book, cup of tea, cozy in front of the fire, listening to holiday music are some of my favorite ways to spend a day.

      When the days are tough, I hope you remember how loved you are and that you matter, today and always. My life is richer for having you in it, dear one!

      Many hugs,

  6. Derek G says:

    Thank you, Lol, a lot of people say that I am, but if only people walked in my shoes lately, I think they would honestly run away lol. It was hard to come out, but boy is it hard to live a joyful, fulling life with all the hatred going on. I am told I am an abomination of the Lord so I can not be saved, and My family and I were banished from 3 churches. I almost gave up until my wife found a church, and I feel God’s Spirit, and the people there love me for who I am. Its good to know once in awhile you are not alone, and that no matter what, people will be there for you if you fall, or fail. Many Hugs, back your way!!!

  7. Auntie Hay says:

    Oh Derek,
    There is so much love and beauty in the world, and you and your amazing family are such a wonderful example. If people in your life can’t accept you, they will be the ones missing out. Finding and making your true family can be so hard, but it’s so worth it. Keep opening your heart to good and you will keep adding new members who will be so excited to know you.
    You guys are now kept warm and safe in my heart, and you always have a place in my home and at my table….
    All my love,
    Auntie Hay

    • Derek G says:

      Thank you so much, I appreciate that.That’s one thing I have done was close my heart, because I thought if I did that, people can’t hurt me. I was wrong it seems like it hurt more, because I actually care more. I strive to take care of my family, but I am slowly starting to become a voice for any children that is trans, because they need someone to help them in to become who they are. You melt my heart with all your kind words, I really appreciate it.

  8. Derek G says:

    Hi, I am 31 married to my wife who is also transgender and we have two boys. Its going to be our first Christmas alone because our family can not, and won’t accept us for who we are. Thanksgiving this year we have spent alone, and its heartbreaking. We have lost a lot of so-called friends, and this world is so lonely. We have a kitty, and she has been my lifeline lately. I am so grateful there are people out there, who are willing to make themselves a part of someone’s life. I never had a real family before, except my wife and kids, THat’s all I have for a family. It is sadly making me bitter toward life, and people. Have a wonderful day.

    • MamaLyssa says:

      Derek, you and your family have a place with ours. This world can be dark and mean, but truly what matters are the people we choose to be our family and the memories we make with those we care about. Life is hard, I know … though I’d venture to guess that you’re tougher than you realize. Lean in. You’ve got this!

      You are loved and accepted, just the way you are and we are so grateful we can share this Season with you all … many hugs are being sent your way!

      XOXO MamaLyssa

      • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

        Hi Derek,

        I have had some lonely moments this season too, and when I do, I have been thinking of my holiday nieces and nephews every time I stop for a coffee or tea break, (and other holiday family members with a better non-gendered term for that that hasn’t been invented yet, sigh)

        I will be thinking of you during my morning coffee break today and pretending I am sharing it with you.. Cheers!

        (also,I drink a LOT of coffee, so I will be thinking of you all very often… 🙂 )

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