Your Holiday Mom: Sister Sarah

Dear you,

I’m so excited that you are here for the holidays this year! It’s going to be a good one, so I hope you brought a good appetite! Give us a second to hang onto Otto, our golden lab. He loves making new friends, but at only one and a half, he sometimes wants to start those friendships by running to meet you at the door. He’s a great nap buddy though and just loves having everyone around, and he’s working on less jumping and more kisses. Give him some peanut butter and you’ll be best friends.

You’ll notice that our house has lots of folks coming and going over the holidays. Family here is by choice, so you’ll get to meet lots of our not-biological family over your stay. Don’t worry about how we got connected; we’re family now and that includes you. Once you’re part of the family, we’re here for you no matter what. If this year hasn’t been super easy for you, know that you are coming into a home where you can forget about that stuff and just spend time with people who love you. We’re not disappointed, and there’s no expectations of who you need to be (other than yourself). But if you want to talk, you’ll usually find me sitting up with a book in the living room pretty late with tea and cookies. My brothers and I also do a lot of our best talks while driving together, so if you want to “run errands” sometime, we can do that too.

The holidays are mainly focused on 2 things: food and together time. Mitch is our resident chef, so he runs the kitchen, except for baked goods, which will be me and maybe you? You’re welcome to just sit at the stools in the kitchen and taste all the cookies and stuff if that suits you better. We usually make a family trip out to the breakfast place where Dad is a regular and have typical diner breakfast. Vegetarian options are available. We also sometimes do a fancy tea party. No dressing up required, but we’ll have scones and sandwiches and tea and finger foods. It’s one of the best parts of the holiday. If you have a complicated relationship with food, don’t sweat it. Just join us at the table if you can and let us know what you like to eat.

For together time, we’ll play board games, and one of us usually buys one as a gift for the family so that we can all learn a new one together over the holiday. We’ve also gone out to do an escape room the past few years, and we’re always recruiting for people to join our team!

Otherwise, we keep things pretty chill. Stay in your pjs or comfy clothes if you want. Grab snacks from the kitchen or the pantry whenever you’re hungry. They’ll be tea on from the time Dad wakes up at 5:45am until Mum goes to bed at 12:30am (so basically always), Mum will have gone overboard stocking the fridge with juice, Mitch will probably have made eggnog, and Russ will do a beer run with any of the boys that are coming over. If you have a favourite snack, please tell us before you get here so we can make sure we have it in stock.

Anyway, we’re just excited that you’re here. We want you to know how much we love you just as you are. Don’t forget that, okay?

Love always,


PS The holidays are plus one friendly, so if you have a partner please stop back with them too! We have lots of space for everyone.


  1. Ali says:

    I would love to be part of this experience. my mom is not accepting of my bisexuality and dating other women. it’s been very hard. I have to keep future girlfriends a secret from her because I told her once I was dating a girl and she freaked out at me. She’s said some very hurtful bi phobic things to me as well.

    • Sister Sarah says:

      Ali, you sound like a strong person who brings a lot to this world. I hope that you are able to surround yourself with kind and loving people in 2018, and that you continue to find the courage to be yourself. Otto and I are reading this over breakfast (he’s mostly trying to steal mine) and we’re both sending unconditional love your way.

  2. lindt says:

    i don’t cry very often but I’m crying right now. I’d give almost anything to have a family like this. I’m acearo, nonbinary trans, and gay, and ive been struggling with mental illness for some time now. I turn 21 in a few weeks and it’s been a really shitty year. Due to my dad’s job, our family has to move every few years, and this time they moved to germany while i went to college in the states and my sister works on her dissertation in california. We had to give our 2 cats over to some family friends because it would be too hard to move them to germany and i can’t have them in the dorms and my sister can’t have them in her apartment. A few months ago, me cat S’more died of feline diabetes. Apparently he had been sick for 6 months and the friends never told us. It was because they fed him kibble around the clock, and he can’t control himself around kibble. and kibble is already really bad for him, it caused problems for him in the past. yet when we left him there, i noticed this but I didn’t say anything, and I had a feeling that i should, that he would die from it, but I didn’t say anything. And now he’s gone forever and I feel so guilty and sad. I wish I could hold him one last time.

    I spent 8 days including easter in a psych ward for a suicide attempt and my mom told me i was just being dramatic and i should just do it, it would be less of a burden. no one tried to contact me while i was in there and when i got out everyone blamed me for it and tried to sweep it under the rug. My sister had to drive up to come get me from the hospital and she told be I was being selfish and that she hates spending time with me and that she only did it because she felt obligated to because she’s my sister. I’ve been homeless for about a year and a half and im spending the holidays alone in the dorms, too poor to buy anything including presents and food so I’ve been rationing ramen to last until the dining halls re-open. i feel really guilty that I can’t send presents to my friends or my cousins who let me stay at their house for a long time. my immediate family has been abusive my whole life and no one has tried to contact me since the hospital. My sister is transphobic and aphobic, my brother is homophobic, and my parents are queerphobic, and they deny my illness and try to use me as a scapegoat for all of their problems. i’ve been trying to save up for surgery so I can finally start my transition but every time i get a few hundered dollars saved up I have to spend it on some debt or fee or something and I’m so tired. I’ve been trying for five years. I just want a real meal and a real family who will love me and be there for me instead of leaving me to die. i barely know my siblings any more because my mom has indoctorinated them into hating me so they don’t trust me enough to have a conversation with me and I’m so sad. I used to be best friends with my sister and now she hates me, and i’m so afraid I’m missing out on watching my brother grow up and being there for him. I’m afraid that now that I’m not around anymore, my mom will start picking on him instead. I miss my dad because when he’s not around my mom he’s a lot more reasonable and loving and i just want my family to be there and hug me and tell me they love me for who I am and that they’re sorry for treating me so horribly. i feel like I’ve been swept under the rug when I see their posts on fb about how wonderful their holidays are and they don’t even take the time to send me a message.

    a few years ago on xmas eve, we waited in a hospital for 6 hours because my brother had swine flu and bc of his asthma it gave him pnemonia and bronchitis. Once he got treatment we went home to a power outage that lasted over 12 hours so we couldn’t touch anything in the fridge because if we let the cold out the food would spoil. and i feel really guilty to say it but honestly I’d rather have that xmas than this one because at least then I wasn’t so alone, and smore was alive, and i knew that once the power came back on I’d have real food to eat.

    Anyways, I wish I could be there with your wonderful family. I want to snuggle Otto and play with him, and run errands, and bake cookies with you, and help Mitch with cooking if he needs it, and have a tea party, and play board games (and if people like it, we could play tabletop RPGs! those count, right?) and do escape rooms and snuggle in pjs and eat snacks and I’d draw everyone a picture of whatever they want and help people with gift wrapping (i did it as a fundraiser for years so I’ve gotten pretty good haha). I would also make some caramel corn balls for people’s stockings and I have a special chocolate milk recipie that’s so yummy. I love you.

    • Sister Sarah says:

      Lindt, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I can tell that you are an incredibly brave person and that you have so much strength, two things I’ve been working to build in myself. I’m proud of you for staying true to yourself, even though that has been difficult for you. Please know that this world is a better place with you in it! We could all use a little more of the honesty and courage that you carry, and I’m sure that there is a chosen family out there that is looking for you to make it more complete (and who have been waiting for that chocolate milk recipe their whole lives ). I’m heading downstairs to make tea in a few minutes and I’ll be thinking of you and sending so much love your way. Otto sends you some sloppy puppy kisses as well.

        • Ali says:

          so sorry lindt hugs hope you find a accepting family to take you in and help you be able to eat real food. I hope 2018 treats you better.

  3. luke says:

    thank you for this. it means so much to me that people like you are here on this earth.

    • Sister Sarah says:

      It means a lot to me that you’re out there Luke! I’m sitting by the tree with Otto the puppy right now and sending love and light your way from both of us.

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