Your Holiday Mom: Mommy Kathleen

Dear Holiday Child,

I’m so glad you are here with us, to join in a celebration I once thought I’d never have. When I first came out, a dear cousin who had lived with us and shared every Christmas with us told me that it was too bad because I was “giving up too much.” I was shocked to hear this from someone I thought of as a brother. He told me he’d always thought I’d be a wonderful mom.

Well, this year, you and I will be celebrating Christmas with my wife and 3-year-old daughter.

We go all out for Christmas, starting as soon as possible. This year I’ve tricked my wife into hanging up Christmas lights in October! (My previous best was two weeks before Thanksgiving.) They were  part of the decorations for our Stranger Things themed Halloween party.

I hope you like to eat, because my wife is a baker. And nobody buys cakes in December, which leaves her a LOT of time to bake. We have ten different types of cookies (at least) and petit fours, pies and Christmas cupcakes. Don’t you love the marshmallow snowmen on the vanilla cupcake? Try the eggnog one too, it’s incredible. Sometimes I think I like her gingerbread cupcake more than the actual cookie!

Just to warn you, it’s going to be a little chaotic on Christmas morning. I know some families just give gifts to the kids. Well, we give gifts to everybody. We all sit in a big circle in our most comfortable pajamas (get downstairs early and you can snag a spot of one of the two couches). Whenever someone is about to open a special present, everyone stops to watch. I know you’re thinking it must be something handmade, right? Well…last year everyone stopped to watch me open a huge tube in which my wife had wrapped about twenty pairs of socks…all attached to each other with safety pins. The circle of socks went all the way around the room twice! I really wanted those particular socks…I just didn’t envision removing safety pins every morning to pick a new pair of socks!

So when you wrap your presents, keep in mind that the presentation will be appreciated as much, or maybe more, than the actual item. Hiding a tiny item inside a huge series of boxes is considered high comedy in this house.

We are so glad you are with us. We want you here with us, feeling loved and accepted, laughing and playing on Christmas Day, with no doubts as to whether you fit in. Please, close your eyes for a moment, and see our family. There’s no side looks, no snide comments and no cold shoulders here. And there are many, many families like ours. Someday, this will be something you will experience with your eyes open. Until then, I’m your holiday mom.


Mommy Kathleen


  1. Em says:

    Hi Mama,

    It’s my first time writing you (I’m a 22 year-old nonbinary art student), and reading your letter was the most beautiful, touching thing I could imagine reading and hearing.

    I know it’s a little late after Christmas (I hope you don’t mind!); I’m writing this from my partner’s house, where I’ve been living for the past seven months since my mother kicked me out. She was the only family I had here in Canada, and I just can’t get the horrible things she said to me out of my head.

    Even so, I feel so guilty for still feeling like I want to talk to her, to hope things might get better, to wish things were different, but she stopped answering my phone calls three months ago. She’s practically disappeared off the face of the Earth, and I’ve gone to local police to see if they can help me find her, but they don’t seem to care; they just think she’s homeless/living in a shelter, but I have no idea where to begin looking, or if I even should; if maybe I’m just romanticizing things, but I miss her. I miss her so, so much.

    My partner’s family is in the living room right now, watching Will Ferrell movies and eating chili, but the last time I went out there, I couldn’t stay more than a few moments.

    It just felt so painful, knowing deep down that they aren’t actually my family, and that all the members of my own family have either passed away or disowned me, and that even though my partner’s ‘shared’ their family with me in the past, and it was fun, it still felt so hollow, more than ever before.

    So, I’ve just been sitting in my partner’s room, reading and crying and wishing things were so much more different, when I came across your letter and wished more than anything that your words were my own mother’s, but ended up with a smile on my face and tears of joy.

    My partner is the love of my life, and I’m so honoured and overjoyed to be with them, in their home, and also in your home as part of your family. I’ve never wrapped gifts before, and I don’t really know how, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out after a couple of instructional YouTube videos, and fuzzy socks are my absolute favourite gift to get, next to art supplies and books!

    Thank you, Mama. Thank you so, so much. I hope it’s okay if I say I love you; Merry Christmas.

    – Em D.

    • Brigid says:

      Hi Em,

      Thanks for writing and telling us about your situation. Being estranged from your mother must be very hard for you. I am sorry to hear of your struggle.
      However, I’m so glad to hear you are able to stay with your partner and their family. That is the kind of acceptance and support we all need in our lives, and I am so happy you have that. You deserve to be happy, to be loved, to be accepted just the way you are.
      Perhaps one day your mother will realize what she is missing, and make an effort to contact you and “mend fences” as they say. Perhaps not. But whatever happens, cherish those who love and accept you, and above all, be your wonderful self.
      Keep on making art. It is so good for our souls and our hearts to be creative. (I’m an art teacher myself.)
      Wishing you a better year in 2018. Sending love and support to you Em.

  2. Kaelan says:

    Thank you for all these kind words. As I’m growing older with a dad that disapproves of everything outside the so-called “norm”, reading stories like yours gives me so much hope that I will, too, one day have a family and kids that love me as much as I love them. I’m so thankful and so glad that I have your family to feel welcome in this holiday season. Thank you again, mom, and merry christmas

      • Mommy Kathleen says:

        I’m so sorry you haven’t found your true family yet. Hopefully your dad will someday realize that he has a wonderful child. Sometimes it takes him seeing you with a family that loves you and then he realizes what he wasn’t seeing! You’ll build your friend family and eventually have your own children and family.

  3. Dominic C says:

    Awesome christmas! I absolutely loooove it! I’m a big kid so i prefer to sit on the floor (love being surrounded by the remains of colorful wrapping paper :3) there won’t be much eating from me since i got my molars removed and I’m still on soft food, but I’ll enjoy watching! 😀 thanks for the awesome christmas morning story!

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Dominic,

      I’m sure we can wrap up some cookies to save for when you’re feeling better. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

      So glad you are with us, Merry Christmas!

    • Mommy Kathleen says:

      We’re prepared for everything here! I’ve got jello!
      Thanks for joining us virtually. By the way, I spent the whole morning on the floor helping a 3-year-old open presents and I’d have loved the help of another gift opener! 🙂
      Merry Christmas!

  4. Lorcan says:

    Happy Christmas!!! It was a delight to sit and envision your wonderful family today. I’ve spent it with my wife, listening to Meat Loaf and classic ballad playlists while reading and preparing to go out to dinner. Not quite the chaos of your house, but since Anna is also a baker she’ll be making us a beautiful apple and maple syrup crumble this evening!

    Wishing the best to your beautiful family x

    • Mommy Kathleen says:

      Meat Loaf! We got Twisted Christmas this morning, replace a worn out cassette. I’ll blast mine and you blast yours and we’ll rock our neighborhoods! My house currently looks like a toy store and all the adults but me are falling asleep…3-year-old still going strong. Enjoy your day!

  5. Julian says:

    This was lovely to read on Christmas day. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

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