Your Holiday Mom: Mom Ricki

Mama Ricki here again. Been thinking about you this year – what a year! Talk about your ups and downs. We watched this country go through some intense moments. And I get the feeling that you went through some intense moments too.

My daughter and I are preparing to light the Hannukah Menorah for all eight nights of Hannukah this year, and to send you our wishes each and every night of Hannukah. But here’s a secret – they’re not wishes at all – they’re reminders of the strength and beauty that is inside of you.

First – a quick introduction to my daughter, who introduced me to this website in the first place (thank you Sarah!). Sarah came out to me when she was 14.

Was I surprised? Not really. Was my reaction perfectly accepting? I hope so! I told her that I didn’t really care who she loved, as long as that person saw her as a special and beautiful person, and treated her with respect and kindness. Love and acceptance. Kindness.

Before Hannukah starts, we’ll do our holiday shopping – always scarves and mittens for her! (You too, right? The fuzzy ones?) This year we lost our beloved cat, and I already picked out the kitty socks and mittens for her first night of Hannukah gift.

Here are my Hannukah wishes for you. You don’t have to be Jewish! (Another secret: I am not the least bit religious. I believe in kindness first and foremost.)

  • I wish that you always remember that you are beautiful, and special, and unique.
  • I wish you that you always remember that you will feel happy, and confident one day – even if that day feels a million miles away.
  • I wish that you paint a happy picture in your mind of how your life could be. Where would that be? What would your room look like in that picture?
  • I wish that you find a safe place right now where you can be you. Either in a support group, or even if it’s in your room with your “happy” song playing.
  • I wish that you could see what I see. That a hard time now is JUST A CHAPTER in the book. It’s NOT the entire book. This I promise.
  • Happiness always comes to me when I give a smile and a compliment to someone else. Try it!
  • Don’t discount the power of a well-earned hot chocolate. Or any chocolate for that matter.
  • Above all, I wish you peace inside yourself. You are a beautiful soul.

I would love to hear from you in the comments, and promise to write back.

I am thinking of you and sending so much love, so much support.

You are NEVER alone!

With love, strength – and all those mom hugs,



  1. Taylor says:

    i just found out about this website..It made me tear up.My family situation is very mom hates me and i just feel like i didnt have a real mom for 2 years..she screams it at my face,that she wishes i was dead or that she wished that she would have aborted me..hearing this breaks my heart everytime.when we talk she is either screaming at me or making fun of me.She always seems to be annoyed with whatever i do..i am a trans guy and pansexual.i will probably never be able to out myself since she is transphobic and homophobic.I generally feel really hopeless but this page is just made ne feel like i actually had a mom that talked to me.this text was just an incredible feeling.I am so grateful for people like you..Giving teens like me a little hope.((I am sorry for possible mistakes in my text.I am german and i didnt really pay attention to my typos right now-sorry !!)
    Again, thanks a lot for being a great mom,

    • Mom Ricki says:

      Taylor I am so glad that you wrote. I’ve been thinking about what you’re going through – there’s so much there to process. I can offer you this to think about – I just bet your mom is really good at some stuff. Maybe she’s a great baker, or wonderful artist, or volunteers at her church. But, as it turns out, she just isn’t great at understanding this. It’s a part of who she is, not all of who she is. I would bet my bottom dollar that deep down she loves you very very much, and simply doesn’t have the tools to understand trans and pansexual teens and their particular – and intense – issues and needs.

      Taylor, stay strong. I believe that one day she will come around. And even if she isn’t able, I also believe that you will one day – soon enough! – understand that it is her shortcoming, NOT YOURS. People just aren’t perfect – and that’s a tough thing to understand.

      Even well-meaning parents can often say or do the wrong thing. YOU ARE NOT ALONE – so many people have been in difficult situations like yours – I know because I read their letters. And they get through it. And you will too.

      Hope you find something to be grateful for this holiday weekend. I am grateful for this site, and for you!

  2. Silver H says:

    I just found this website thanks to a Pintrest post and this one actually made cry. Thank you for this, Ill have to show this to my girlfriend.

  3. Silver says:

    The holidays have always been tough in my house, my dad’s always in a bad mood and my mother is stressed. My brothers are on edge, and this year my sisters staying at college so my mother will be more uppity than usual without her. Last year my sister came out as pansromantic, and a few days after that my mother told me that if i were to ever like girls she wouldn’t accept me. Im 17 and have known that i like girls since i was 10 so that was a punch in the gut. And since I’ve recently got a girlfriend and discovered that im non binary, i know this year will be more difficult. (It’s very difficult to find a gender neutral name i really like, but thus far Silver is my favorite) This post really and truly made my night, thank you so much for this.

    • Mom Ricki says:

      Silver! I LOVE it. It’s the perfect name for you. You know who you are and that’s a beautiful thing. Your girlfriend is lucky to have a special friend like you. And yup, your parents are stressing – holidays can do that to parents. Probably thinking about money stuff, taxes, work, and – just perhaps – not always remembering to be grateful for their wonderful children. Not blaming them because I get it – the grind of life sometimes casts a cloud and it’s very hard for them to remember that gratitude. Deep down I know that you know that it’s your mother who doesn’t have the tools to understand you – not YOU not being good enough for her. I am not angry with her, I actually feel a little sorry for her for not recognizing that you are a beautiful little human being with so much to offer. Her loss! And your girlfriends’ – and my – and everyone else who knows you – our gain! Thank you for writing and feel free to write again. I will write back.

      Thinking of you Silver. You will shine!

      • Silver says:

        I just read your reply and it made my night. Today i had to go to a family holiday party, and out of 17 people only 2 there know and accept the fact that i have a girlfriend. The entire night my family was making homophobic comments. I told my friend about it but he doesn’t understand. He thinks that they’ll still love me, but i know they won’t. Blood or not, they really hate gay people. And i know if they find out theyll stop talking to me, but they’re still my family and i still love them. It’s just hard, sometimes i think it would be easier if i was dating a boy but then i talk to my girlfriend and change my mind. I just want a family who will love And accept me…

        • Mom Ricki says:

          Oh Silver, I am so sorry that you have to endure this. Homophobia is such a difficult thing to understand. Know this – you did NOTHING wrong. Someone once told me this and it works in just about every situation – if you want to be happy in life, take NOTHING PERSONALLY. Your parents don’t hate you – at all – it’s just their shortcoming – their lack of tools in the toolshed that gives them the impression that you are wrong. It’s wonderful that you are able to “compartmentalize” their fear and still love them. Hold on to that, and forgive them for not understanding you. You will one day be able to move past their lack of acceptance, and not feel that as painfully as you do today. Hang in there. And remember another thing – TEENAGE YEARS ARE VERY HARD FOR EVERYONE! You are not alone. This I promise!

  4. fin says:

    thank you for this. ive been reading these out loud to my siblings and this one made all five of us cry. this year has been hard but things like this make it a little easier. thank you.
    – fin and his little sibs (tommy, annie, emma, and lucy)

    • Ricki says:

      Well right back atcha Fin, Tommy, Annie, Emma and of course Lucy –
      Your beautiful note made me cry too! I love that we can connect in this crazy cyber way. I am so happy that you all have each other – what a gift! I always wished I had a lot of siblings, so I think you guys are pretty lucky.

      Hannukah’s over now, and we’re on to the big Christmas weekend with all of its pageantry and sometimes emptiness. SECRET: IT’S JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE CALENDAR. It too will pass. In fact this year will pass, this “situation” in our country will pass. I am (sadly) old enough to have seen it all come – and go – and it always does.

      I hope the five of you do something fun – even if it’s just watching a re-run of those sappy Christmas specials on tv. I’ll be thinking of you!

      Write whenever you need – I’m always up for a virtual chat.


  5. zach says:

    this is such a lovely post. thank you for being my family over the holidays when i feel scared. (im a nb who likes girls.)

    • Mom Ricki says:

      Hi there Zach,
      Thanks for writing! Yup, we are “here” for you – thinking of you, your inner strength and fortitude always. The holidays are confusing – it always looks like everyone is so freakin’ happy all the time, and festive, and going to parties and all that. And somehow it can also be the scariest, and sometimes loneliest time of the year too. When you feel scared, or lonely, PLEASE remember that we are thinking of you. And that a million other people – even some of those who look so happy – are also walking around scared and lonely. We all do that “imposter” thing every now and then.

      Hoping it isn’t too cold where you are, and that you can go outside for a bit,and just breathe the cool air. With every breath, every step, know that you are not alone. Your virtual family knows that sometimes life is scary, and that we are in your corner.

  6. Jack says:

    I’m going through the absolute worst time right now, and the posts that you and the other moms make really warm my heart. Thank you for being such a positive and wonderful mom.

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Jack,
      I’m sorry to hear you’re going through a tough time right now.

      I’m glad you’re here though. Please come back as much as you need to.

    • Mom Ricki says:

      Jack! Thank you for taking the moment to even write that. I am going to virtually have you as my guest today! I’m just working around the house, making some tea, and doing some writing – my favorite thing in the world! In fact sometimes just writing my “stuff” down is helpful – kind of helps me clarify where the problem is – and even alleviates some of the pain, like a good cry.

      I am so sorry that you’re in a rough patch. Trust me, those of us who are a little older than you know that terrible times do not last forever – they are chapters. And this chapter, though painful right now, will be OVER soon enough. Keep thinking about your bright future as much as I am – we will get there!

    • Auntie Hay says:

      Hang in there Jack.
      There are a ton of people here and around the world who would be honored to give you love and hugs and try to make you feel better.
      The love of your golden heart shines so bright, I can feel it radiating over me. I hope you can feel the giant hug I am sending you in return.
      All my love,
      Auntie Hay

  7. Adrian M says:

    hi Ricki, im ftm trans and gay, im scared that my actual folks will kick me out for being trans. also great post

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Adrian,

      You are always part of our family. I’m happy you are here!

    • Mom Ricki says:

      Dear Adrian,
      I am SO glad you wrote. (And thanks for the compliment!) I can see what a scary place you are in right now. Just remember this – you are so loved, so supported, and have so many amazing people cheering you on (me being top of that list!). If your parents are being short-sighted, that is very painful. I pray that they find the wisdom to accept their beautiful child, and that you find the clarity to be who you are and to one day understand their shortsightedness. It’s a painful thing for anyone to see that their parents aren’t these perfect, wonderful people. But sometimes parents are just people, flawed and imperfect.

      Please know I am thinking of you today! Write back; I would love to hear from you.

  8. Karly says:

    Mama Ricki,
    I’m sending warm wishes and promises of love and kindness your way. My home is a difficult place during the holidays, as I’m sure many people who are subscribed to this thread relate to, and your letters always brighten my day and make me feel less alone. I’m a spiritual person, and I celebrate Christmas but I would love to celebrate Hanukkah as well. I’ll be thinking of you during this holiday season, and keeping in mind the kind words you’ve shared. Thank you for your place in my life, and for supporting me always.

    All my love,

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Karly,

      Right back at ya! I’m very happy to have you with us this year!

    • Mom Ricki says:

      Oh Karly,
      What a beautiful note! Knowing that I can tell even one person that they are so valued is what brightens my day, so that you so much for that very treasured gift. I get it. This time of year is rough! Everyone either being so freakin’ happy -(or pretending to be so happy!), all that family stuff, all that togetherness – STRESSFUL!!! For anyone!

      The thing I love most about Hannukah is that for all eight days we light a candle. Which gives me eight days to reflect and make my wish – for you. And my wish for you is that you remember exactly what you wrote – “your home is a difficult place for the holidays” – a) just the fact that you aware of that fact is amazing! and b) the holidays will eventually end, and c) that you write it down – a great tool to clarify what’s going on and get some of that bitterness out. Keep writing – it’s a gift!!

    • Mom Ricki says:

      I feel like YOU have given me the gift Destiny, so thank you! I hope you’re able to find a reason to smile this weekend, knowing that we are in your virtual corner!

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