Holiday Mom: Lisa W.

yhmlisawHey, Kid!

I’m so glad you’re here. I have been waiting for you, and everyone is so excited to see you!

We will try to keep the hugs from becoming anaconda squeezes, but no guarantees.

Maybe this year you don’t really feel welcome at home. Maybe you’re not welcome at all. Or only welcome if you don’t bring or talk about that special someone, or even the idea that there might be a special someone. Or only if you’re willing to hear people say bad things about gay marriage and gay people while staying silent yourself. Or maybe nobody really means to make you feel unwelcome, but you do, a little, anyway, just because spending the holidays marooned among The Straight People is like that sometimes, even when they love us, and even when we love them.

I have good news for you. You will, in your lifetime, sooner than even you might believe, experience a holiday of perfect welcome. A holiday where everyone is happy to see you. A holiday where everyone really knows you and is really enthusiastic about you exactly the way you are.

That day is so much closer than you think!

Until that time, I invite you to the holiday that exists inside this letter, and at this moment, inside your imagination and my imagination (anybody who doesn’t think that’s real can stop reading books, watching TV, movies, or using any item that began in someone’s imagination: we will bring them Christmas dinner in their cave).

Okay, first and very important: THE TREE. We might be a little overenthusiastic about the tree, but we’re not sure that’s a flaw. We got rainbow ornaments this year! It’s the best!

You’ll notice there aren’t many presents underneath it yet and I am SO GLAD you’re here, because I need a kid like you to help me wrap the presents in secret when the younger kids go to bed. Maybe you tape your fingers to each other on the regular, or maybe you are an origami wrapping ninja — it doesn’t matter. We need you on the front lines of Christmas cheer, kid! You showed up just in time to save the day! We can stay up late and I will tell you all the stupid stuff I got up to in high school. We can watch Christmas specials. Of course there will be hot chocolate!

Did I tell you I learned how to knit socks? Handmade socks are the bomb. I mean, if you haven’t worn a pair you just haven’t lived. It also means there are socks inside Christmas stockings!

Oh, but before I go on: You know there’s nothing wrong with you, right? That you’re perfect and awesome just the way you are? Just let that sink in a minute, because that’s important.

You might notice the handwritten list over there. No, this is not a list for Santa. This is a sign up schedule the kids made to play video games with you. That’s how excited they are to see you. They think you are absolutely the coolest person in three area codes.

We’re not big on turkey here. I mean, didn’t we just have one? Boring! Every year we have a chicken pot pie, and a wide array of Chinese steamed buns we got from the Super 88 market downtown.

Oops! It’s time to turn on the lights. Can you plug in that one over there? Thanks. We have those little candelabras in every window. We know they’re cheesy. We don’t care! We love it.

How did the driveway look when you came in? Do I need to shovel more? My girlfriend won’t show up until later, but I want to make sure there’s room for her car. You will not believe the baked goods this woman is bringing. I have long harbored suspicions that she has powers in the baked goods area that transcend the merely human.

Looks like the little kids are conked out, huh? It’s nice and quiet, I love that. Time for you and me to get to work and make the Christmas, kiddo. You ready? Good.

Welcome to Christmas, this year and every year —

Your holiday Ma


  1. Cassidy says:

    Mom –
    I’m a bit late reading this, as I’ve been very busy lately! Nonetheless your letter made me physically smile and I’m once again glad I have you in my life. Your letter gives me hope, because you’re right – in a little over two years I can escape my family traditions and will be free to be myself again. It really is a lot closer than I keep thinking it is. Sometimes it feels like it’s never going to come.
    In other news, fun fact: my sister is also knitting everyone socks this year! I love watching her make them, though sometimes she won’t let me (hmm, I wonder who those are for?).
    Thanks so much for welcoming me into your house this holiday season with the reminder that there’s nothing wrong with me. Tell the kids I’m just as excited to see them as they are excited to see me!
    Lots of love,

  2. Bekah says:

    Holiday mom,
    I’ve only recently come out to my parents and they have yet to talk to me. I’m not mad at them but I am a little upset with the situation. I feel like I was forced to come out because I was going to a christian college and I found out they can suspend somebody for being homosexual. There was also an incredible amount of hate on the LGBT community. I had no idea people were actually like that. It hurt my feelings to be surrounded by people with so much negativity in their hearts. I could not stay in that situation so I just gave my parents my honest reason for leaving and switched to a community college. I’m glad I told them though, even if they’re upset with me.
    Now onto your letter. Your letter brought my heart so much joy and I want to thank you for writing it. My name is Bekah! It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for your acceptance and support. I love children! I used to want to be a teacher but after volunteering at an elementary school for a year I realized that maybe education was not my ideal career. I decided to switch my major to Biology. I’m sure your children are lovely… However they may be let down when they see how bad I am at video games. I make up for the lack of skill with how incredible I am at Go Fish. I’m not very good at wrapping presents (by that I mean I suck at it) but I am definitely willing to go at it! It might end up turning into a painful process (I AM good at getting paper cuts) but it should still be a fun time. Christmas is my favorite Holiday and I think that is because it is in my favorite season. Oh, and I love hearing stories. I like getting to know someones past. Maybe you could tell me how you got into knitting socks? I have never worn handmade socks but I am sure they’re a game changer!
    My favorite holiday movie is either Elf or A Christmas Story. I wonder what a cross between the two would be like? Probably a huge, awkward, christmassy mistake.
    Do you have a holiday favorite?
    Thank you for writing.


  3. Christina says:

    hey, mom lisa!! sorry that this comment is late, i dont know if youre going to respond to this or if youve lost all your Mom Power yet (bc this is my first year subsribing to these letters) but thank you in advance if you do!! this letter really touched my heart, especially the second paragraph! im a closeted polyromantic+polyamorous lesbian with an entirely “christian” (which i put it quotes because theyre the awful conservative bigoted kind, which i dont believe are doing god’s work at all!!!) immediate and extended family, and im only 15 so i really cant afford to say anything when christmas eve dinner gets political at my expense. (christmas eve is when my birth mom’s side of the family comes over for the evening. theyre very kind and even fun when i can forget that theyd hate me if they REALLY knew me, but that isnt often.) but, mom, your letter comes off as being so casual and fun!! spending christmas with you would be a joy, as would having even one positive adult lgbtq+ role model in my life… a girl can dream, right? i hope to one day be able to make a life for myself, outside of all my current restrictions. honestly im 100% anticipating college, probably wayyyy more than i should! because no matter where i go, ill be far away and no one will have any prior knowledge of me so i wont have to worry about disappointing people. (being in the closet and also having anxiety is Not a fun time..!) but anyways, in the meantime, i just want to snuggle up on the couch with you and watch christmas movies!! (thats what kids who arents 65% afraid of their parents do, right?) my favorites would have to elf and that cute animated musical version of elf that came out a few year ago! the prep and landing specials are also very fun! what are your favorites?? we could alternate between watching something i like and something you like, to be fair about this! just in case i fall asleep shortly into our marathon, which is likely ๐Ÿ˜‰
    with sincere christmas cheer,

  4. Helena says:

    Thank you so much mom, I cried reading this. I’m closeted asexual, which isn’t so bad compared to what others have to deal with, but it still makes holidays vv stressful. Your obvious acceptance and cheer are wonderful. There’s something special about love from a mom, and I can’t always count on my mom to be so supportive. Thank you <3

  5. Kate says:

    Hi Lisa,

    This letter was so great. Thank you very much. I was smiling all throughout it. In years past, I had loved the holiday season. This is the first year I’ve been dreading it, since my family have taken a bigger stance against me as I came out to them as TransFemale, then even more so as I started to do what I needed to start living as Kate full time. Your letter brought a smile into my day when I read this, and those are so hard to come by these days.

    I’ve never worn handmade socks. I bet they are nice and warm. I think I would love those. I’m always looking to be warm. And I would love to play video games with the kids, though I would probably always lose. I’m not the best at multiplayer games. I usually just enjoy watching others play.

    Thanks again for your letter,

  6. Tom says:

    hi mom
    your letter after reading it i had tears in my eyes it was so sweet and something i could only dream of hearing. i came out as a transgender (ftm) ages ago back when i was 13 but nothing ever got taken seriously and now im 19 and it still never seems to be taken seriously happiness or family i have been having that in my head everyday and i hope to soon get away from home soon and live with my boyfriend and then i can start focusing on finally going doctors for help, christmas just dont seem to be good this year to me . i guess i just need someone to hug or cry to. but your letter made me so happy and made me wish i had a family like that but i dont see it ever happening but your words will run threw my head all night hopefully tonight will be the one night where i dont cry to sleep
    Love your Holiday Child,

    • Lisa W. says:

      Oh, honey. You’re sad, huh? I wish we could give you a hug. There’s one thing that’s really, really important to remember: if you stay on the path, you can build something just like this for yourself and for others. When I was your age I was really determined to stay in school and go to college and a big reason for that was I knew if I went to school and was self supporting, that meant I could make my own decisions about what kind of life I wanted. I was a kid who really wanted to be a grownup because having grown ups make decisions for me didn’t always turn out too good for me. If I could support myself, I didn’t have to worry about whether anyone else took me seriously: I took me seriously, and I was ready to work to go grab that life I knew I had to live. If you can stay the course this long, I know you have real inner toughness. That means you have what it takes to stand on your own two feet. I won’t tell you it was easy: it was years of effort. I do wish I hadn’t taken some of the shortcuts (like, I really thought relationships were the path to some of the grown up stuff I wanted) or the dead ends (stuff that was self-destructive). But that independence is our birthright, and it belongs to all of us, and we begin to have it when we get on the path.

      At first that felt totally overwhelming — I felt like I was trying to level Everest with a grapefruit spoon. But I learned over time to respect the mighty power of that spoon, because I just asked myself every day, what can I do today to get myself one step closer to where I wanted to be? Get up early to work? Study? Apply for school? Any individual day seemed really small but when I look how far I have come I’m amazed.

      This is for you too, Tom. Go look in your stocking — I got you your own titanium grapefruit spoon :-). I know you can do it. Never, never, never give up.

      • Tom says:

        hi mom
        i do believe in myself i mean i do identify myself as who i am alot but the problem i face at the moment is i panic and have had traumatic past so if i get put even infront of eg: dentists, doctors, my boyfreinds family i panic and i end up passing out due to not breathing properly so as much as i wanna jump up go out and find people to try build something i end up messing it up and i left school at 16 my school was the problem in my life so was college i got put on a course i had already passed with flying colours because i refused in school to keep speaking all the time so i left and so far it was the best decision i made because i have started following my passion witch is art and gaming
        so far i am ready to make big steps i just cant do them when my family is involved because some of them are really old school n others just wont help till its over. i mean by February i am probably going to be out of here so i can follow threw with what i want witch will give me aload more confidence.

        do you think they will like me? and enjoy playing with me? i love wrapping presents and making cards or designing envalopes. and yay i get a stocking grabs the spoon and holds it in the air i shall do it with the power of the spoon

  7. Angel says:

    Dear Holiday Mom,

    I guess I haven’t lived then huh? My family is the same way with the tree. My actual mom was getting purple, black, and gray ornaments for the tree (that is white). Which I find funny because I’m asexual and when I came out, she was so cold towards me like she is now. And those colors, are the colors for the asexual pride flag. But I wasn’t going to say anything to her for the fear of saying something to make her even more angry with me. I’m always afraid to talk to her because I’m afraid I’ll say something that will make her hate me more than she already does.

    I can’t wait to hear about the things you did in high school. I’m REALLY good at wrapping presents. It’s a skill I’ve picked up from wrapping gifts all year for birthdays.

    – Your Holiday Child, Angel.

    • Lisa W says:

      Oh, honey. I’m sorry things are so screwed up at home. I gotta tell ya: I am so proud of people of your generation. I hang out on Tumblr a lot and I feel like I’m seeing whole new insights on sexual orientation and gender every week on the regular. Your generation is going to be the generation that busts the whole thing wide open, create a world where there aren’t just a handful of sexual orientations and 2 genders, but an entire galaxy of both in every possible and beautiful combination. I can’t wait to see what all of you do with your awarenesses and your superpower of having exactly the right gif and/or emoji at just the right time.

      I would be happy to tell you what kind of shenanigans I got up to in high school but really? I was a pretty regimented kid. At the age of 16 or so, I lived alone in my family house, and my idea of a good time was Russian novels and a pint of ice cream (youth really is wasted on the young!). I didn’t get up to real mischief until I was a lot older.

      I’m also delighted to find someone as enthusiastic as I am about wrapping presents. I think I’m going to take some time tonight and take inventory of all the paper and ribbon — just to make sure that we are adequately supplied with all the best stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Marshall says:

    Hi mom!
    I’m your holiday son, Marshall. I’m FTM, and my legit mom isn’t very accepting. So, thank you for welcoming me in to your home! I can’t wait to play with the kids and meet your girlfriend! I met a guy yesterday, and he’s really cute, and we became good friends, despite the fact that he’s already taken. He already gave me a nickname! He calls me Mar-Mar. I run cross country and track, and this xc season I came in first on my team in the JV race! I had fallen over while trying to pass a girl from my sister’s school, and shredded up my knee a bit, (ok, a lot. It finally healed this month, and the race was in October) but I still managed to pull off a PR and beat one of my Venturing Crewmates in the last 50 meters! I am unable to take Testosterone, and it’s been one hell of a ride trying to make do without it, but I’m hangin in there.

    • Lisa W says:

      OMG dude this is so exciting! I ran XC in high school too. I remember loving it, but…I also kind of remember barfing a lot? Maybe I needed to go a little less hard sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m thrilled to hear you’re having so many good experiences in school & athletics and at home too. I was just reflecting on how much has changed since I was a kid. My own kids do stuff that would have gotten me pounded, just pounded! in my middle school, but they are loved & adored and safe there. I want that for every kid, and I know you do too. One of the things I enjoy about being not exactly standard issue is that my tribe and I are the people who help this world to change to be more loving and accepting & generally badass ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to check in as the holidays roll along! Big hugs.

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