Listen to the audio recording of this message.
Welcome home! I’m Tiffany, my husband is Jeremy. We have four children. Our Christmas is all about spending time together playing board games, eating beautiful food, and laughing really loudly.
Come in, out of the deep snow. You’ll trip over kids at the door, all competing for your attention and shouting your name. We do REALLY loud, at our house. Hang your coat on a hook, kick off your snow-caked boots, and sit down on a cushy (and well-loved) couch for some catching up with our kids. They really can’t settle down, until they know they have your adoration and attention. Like their six gay uncles (two are my brothers, two are Jeremy’s brothers, and two are the life-partners of Jeremy’s brothers), you will be a treasured part of our kids’ lives. Come and find me in the kitchen, busily cooking and setting the table for our Christmas Eve meal. You can pitch-in with peeling potatoes, if you’d like!
As we begin to get to know each other, you’ll learn that I was raised in the Mormon Church. We, as a family, are active members of this church, today. I know that this may be a sore point. I really wanted to share it with you, because in our family, no one hides. No one need feel any shame at being precisely who they are. We believe that the real you is the only you worth sharing. I’ve experienced some pain of my own, as a member of this church, being rejected by many because I am a feminist. I see the pain in your eyes, reflected in my own eyes, and wrap my arms tight around you. I am so very sorry for any pain that anyone has caused you. There is no excuse for intolerance of any kind! You are deserving of love. You are unique and beautiful. There will never be another soul like yours, throughout all the passing of time. You are infinitely precious! We, as a family, accept you. Whatever your own beliefs, ideas, appearance, or outlook, we appreciate that unique perspective and love you for it.
Dinner is finally ready, and we settle into eating our meal. A nice warm pot roast, so tender it falls apart, and carrots, cooked with the roast and flavored by its luscious fats. Green beans slathered in bacon fat. Mashed potatoes (real ones!) with gravy made from the roast drippings. Warm rolls, with butter and homemade strawberry freezer jam. We set the table with a long red tablecloth and the good dishes. We eat by the light of tall white taper candles. We drink bubbly in big goblets, toasting the blessings we share. Laughter and joking, and spilled drinks and chaos are all part of the wonderful mix! Even with such a fancy setting, we’re still pretty casual, crowded around our little wooden table.
After the meal, we settle in by the wood burning stove in the front room. The children act out the Nativity as Jeremy reads it from the New Testament. The cat purrs in your lap, and your full stomach makes you drowsy. The colored lights from our small tree cast dreamy colors across the ceiling and floor. In that moment, stomach, heart, and soul all fed, you know that you have found a place to call home, that you are loved by the Gods of this Universe, that you are needed by a family who loves you just as you are. Welcome home!