Happy Holidays: Dad James

Listen To The Audio Recording Of This Message

To My Holiday Child,

Hi there. I’m excited to be your virtual Holiday Dad this year.

I know that this time of year is stressful, to say the least, what with dinners, guests, presents, parties, and all of that other stuff that make the holidays fantastic and terrible at the same time, but I wanted to just take a minute and talk with you. I wanted to let you know something fantastically important. That thing is this: I love you, and I am so very, very proud of you. What you’ve done, what you’re doing right now, is the most difficult and terrifying thing anyone can do, and you’re doing it so much better than I ever could dream of. 

We don’t have many family traditions around the holidays, but the one that I want to share with you is this: Our family is fairly large – all told, there are usually 30 or so of us that have dinner together on the 24th – but we always are welcoming of more. We always make sure that there is a space for two or three unexpected, uninvited, but thoroughly welcome guests at dinner, and more than enough food. I just want to let you know that, even if it’s only in spirit, you’ve always got a spot at the table, a space in our home, and a place in our hearts.
I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel when you go to work, or school, or anywhere else and are judged based on who you are, to feel like the world sees you as someone other than the real you, but I want you to know that there are tens of millions of us out here who see you only as the wonderful human being that you are. I’m not sure if you are out or not yet, but I can say that being out and comfortable with it – whether you’re gay, bi, asexual, trans, pansexual, genderqueer, or whatever – is the best gift you could possibly give to anyone. Whether it’s to yourself, to your partner, to your friends, or (even if they don’t accept it right away) your family. It’s a gift so precious that no one could ever dream of putting a price tag on it. That is my wish for you this holiday – that you have, or one day will have, this gift, because it is the gift of who you truly are, at your deepest and most fundamental level. I hope that you have a good holiday, and remember that you are loved, respected, and admired.

Happy Holidays From Your Holiday Dad, James


  1. Artisan says:

    Hi, this site is really amazing, readung these letters make me really happy, This year me and my dad kinda shut contact, since he began to really verbally abuse me, not accepting i have a girlfriend, etc, so reading these letters made me really happy! I hope this website will be up for a really long time! Happy Holidays from Artisan

    • Auntie Hay says:

      Happy holidays to you Artisan!
      This website is amazing because of all the brave and wondrous people like you.
      I am so sorry to hear about you and your dad, but I am so very proud of you for living your truth and doing what’s best for you and your well-being.
      I am thinking about you and your girlfriend this morning, and hoping this site continues to bring you lots of smiles and warm fuzzies.
      All my love,
      Auntie Hay

  2. Olivia says:

    Thank you so much for being a part of this site. My parents and I used to be very close, and a lot of the things you said in your letter are similar to what my dad used to say to me. (Apparently with the added stress of final exams, this letter was enough to have me bawling uncontrollably and trying no to wake my roommate!)

  3. Kelpy says:

    Reading that has made me feel so much better! My real father is a homophobic bastard that regularly goes into rants about how all gays should be rounded up and shot while i’m just sitting there like “Yeah not coming out to you” so its gonna be another awful Christmas this year. You make me feel like I actually have a real dad instead of the man that conceived me, so thank you for that! I love this blog so much as it makes me smile in the darkest of times

  4. Lynxie says:

    Dear Holiday Dad,

    Thanks for the support you are showing me this holiday season. My own family is very religious and of high status, and because of it they do not accept me for who I am. Short hair is bad, wanting to work on cars is bad and my dream of working on a paramedic team (which I am going to college for) is beneath my status. I am a disappointment to them, and because i like other girls as well as men and want to help everyone I am unfit to be a part of the family.

    Even though you are only a holiday dad for the season, I still appreciate the support greatly. Being alone on the holidays for the last 4 years has been miserable, especially since everyone else is so happy. My name lynxie is because I prefer the winter and solitude, and the fact that I go out of my way to understand everyone. Thanks for being here this holiday season, and I hope you stay safe.


    • Dad James says:

      Hi, Lynxie,

      I’m glad that I could give you a bit of comfort during the holidays, and I just wanted to let you know how incredibly proud I am of you for continuing to be yourself, to do what you feel is right, and for having the strength to keep on going. I know how lonely it can get during the holidays when you look at everyone else being happy, but remember that there are people out there who care about you, and who are invested in your happiness.

      You keep on being you, don’t ever change it for anyone – family or not. You do what feels right to you, and I guarantee you it will be a better life than you can imagine.

      Stay safe, and be well.


  5. LJ says:

    Dear Dad,
    Thank you for accepting me for who I am. Listening to you made me cry. My real family has disowned me and never wishes to see or speak to me again. I was crushed! They’d said they would always love me but when I came out as genderqueer that all changed. Any way it’s nice to know someone out there doesn’t care what I am but loves me just because I am me. Thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Love, LJ

  6. Z says:

    Dear Dad,
    So I guess this is a pretty late reply huh? I’m never good with these things, always anxious about what to say. As a coming out transman who’s blood father denies and ignores/misgenders me every day (mum does this too), this letter made me more than teary. You really are a gift.
    Thank you for being proud of me when it feels like no one is

    • Dad James says:

      It’s never too late, Z; I’m always around if you need me.

      And it’s you, not me, who’s the gift – thank you for being you and for having the strength to be yourself. I really am proud of you.

  7. Alex says:

    Hi. Uh, I don’t exactly know what to say here, other than that these words made me cry. As a transboy, the holidays are really, really hard for me, what with the misgendering and homophobic comments at the table. When I came out to my parents, they laughed at me and told me that I’d never get a job because no one would hire someone like me. I don’t expect my own father will ever say he respects or loves me, or even call me his son. Thank you for making this, because it has made me feel a little stronger and a little more hopeful, because maybe one day I will find the people who truly love me for who I am. Thanks again, and merry Christmas.

    • Dad James says:

      Alex, as far as I’m concerned, you’re stronger than anyone else in the world; being who you are, unapologetically, is the toughest thing ever. Never forget that I love and respect you for being you and I’m proud that you are who you are.

      You have all my best wishes for Christmas, son, and I’m here if you need it.


  8. Eric says:

    Dear Dad,
    Thank you. Thank you so much for saying the words that my biological father doesn’t mean. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season this year and that our Christmas Eve is just as, if not more, wonderful than last years.
    Your holiday child

    • Dad James says:

      Eric, I’m so sorry that I missed your comment here – I hope that you had a happy Christmas last year and that you have a great one this year, too.

      All of my best and warmest wishes.


  9. Jordan says:

    Your words gave me chills. I think hearing your letter made me finally feel okay about myself. With an a not so accepting father, I have come to resent men. But knowing that you care makes me stand a little taller and hold my head a little higher. I will take your words along with me this season and love myself for who I am.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

    • Dad James says:

      I’m so sorry it took so long to get back to you, Jordan. I hope that you had a good holiday and I’m glad that I could help you. I wish you nothing but the best for you in the coming year.

      Keep on being the amazing person you are.


  10. C says:

    I’m pretty much about to cry so, I guess that’s a good indicator you wrote a lovely letter! I’m so so so so impressed by you and the fact that you included asexual/pansexual/etc. in your letter, also. I’m pansexual and I’m worried my mother won’t be very happy about it. But I’m so glad this site is here to remind me that there ARE people who don’t care at all about what you are and can love you without even meeting you. Also your moustache is fantastic. Thank you, Papa James 😉

    • Dad James says:

      I’m sorry that it took so long to get back to you, C. Just remember that people who care about you will care about you regardless. I know it’s tough, and it’s scary, but you’ve already taken the hardest step, and that’s telling yourself. It’ll get easier. And know that you’ve got a whole lot of people – myself included – standing right behind you, believing in you and supporting you.

      Hope you had a happy holiday,

      -James and the Giant Moustache

  11. marie says:

    I came here just to see what all the fuss was about, amd am leaving with tears in my eyes. Thank you. I hadn’t realized how much I needed to hear this, especially around the holidays. Every single bit helps, and I hope everyone who contributed to making this happened have wonderful holidays too. sincerly, a holiday child.

    • Tamilyn says:

      hugs xo merry christmas and thank you for your warm wishes holiday child 😉 know your are loved ,sincerely xo All the best in 2013 and always!

    • Dad James says:

      Hi, Marie. I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you.

      I’m glad that I could help you out in some way, and I hope that you had a happy holiday.

      Remember that we’re always here for you.


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