Happy Holidays: Mom Melissa

Listen To This Holiday Message

Dear Holiday Child,

As a mother of an LGBTQ child, I want to extend my love to you this holiday season. I want to be your Holiday Mom . . . if you would like that too. I know the holidays can be difficult for some stereotypical families and even more so for many nontraditional families. But let me tell you, if you’re in my family, then you are one of us! As your Holiday Mom, my heart welcomes you and accepts you and CELEBRATES you for who you are.   You are not made of the words that hurt you. Should a time come when you think that you’re out of hope, I’m here, and I’ve got plenty of hope to share with you.

I celebrate the bravery you have shown by not letting the world dictate who you are. I celebrate the strength you’ve shown in not caving to the pressure to be who someone else wants you to be. You are beautiful just like you are. You are beautiful on the outside and beautiful on the inside. Your heart is beautiful and your soul shines with promise.

If I could give you a stocking, I would fill it with an iron lock to protect your soul and self-esteem from those who choose to hate what they don’t understand, any anyone who is unwilling to accept you. I would fill it with a golden key so that those who love, respect, and accept you can find their way into your most secret heart places. I would fill it with balloons to lift you up during hard times and to commemorate the good times; Kleenex for the happy tears and for the sad tears. I’d fill it with Hershey’s Kisses and hugs so you’ll have plenty of both whenever you need or want them.

I can imagine what you might be thinking and feeling – suspicious, hesitant, untrusting, and waiting for me to put conditions on my love for you. It’s okay. I’ll be patient. I know you’ve been hurt by others before. But let me reassure you that my love for you is indeed unconditional. You are my Holiday Child and if you will let me, I’ll imagine wrapping my arms around you as I wish you a special holiday season. I will love you like my own. The strength that you have to live outside the box – outside of what some people think you should be – the strength you have to be you is a beautiful strength. When you’re true to yourself, you’re more capable of being true to those around you – and that’s the kind of relationship I want with you – a relationship where you feel safe being you, knowing that I love you and care deeply about you.

Wishing you a safe, peaceful, and happy holiday season.

I love you,

Mom Melissa


  1. Jen says:

    Mom Melissa,

    On Christmas night last year, I was driving home alone after spending a wonderful two days with my family. With a pile of thoughtfully chosen presents and a sack full of mom’s delicious leftovers in my back seat, one would think that I had plenty of reason to smile and sing the whole way home. Instead I cried- sobbed -because I was upset at myself for spending yet another holiday lying about who I am to those I love most.

    I felt incredibly alone that night. I felt like a coward for hiding my true self. Most of all I was scared that, if I came out and was not accepted, I could very well be driving home from the last family holiday I was welcome to attend. Despite my fears, I finally came out to my parents on the last day of 2011, because I refused to live another year of lies.

    My parents were shocked and confused at first, but patient and loving as well. Though they are still learning about who I am and what it’s like to live as a gay person in our society, they are genuinely accepting. This year, more than any other, I have been truly happy. I am blessed!

    I know that there are countless people out there who are currently feeling how I did last Christmas. They are feeling lost and alone, scared. I am so grateful for you and the other Holiday Moms who are offering a light in the darkness. Thank you so very much for what you are doing! Happy holidays to you and your extended family!

    • Mom Melissa says:


      I genuinely understand being afraid of losing a relationship with your parents and I’m so happy for all of you that your story didn’t end that way. Thank you for sharing your happy ending and your encouraging words.

      Happy holidays,
      Mom Melissa

    • Tamilyn says:

      Best story ive heard allll day .. your bravery is inspiring and i am soo happy you can be YOU now … and i bet by reading this others in the same boat will find strength from your words ..thank you sooooo much for sharing 🙂 happy holidays Jen xo wishing u peace&light with a side of hugeeeee squishey hugs xo

  2. Dominique says:

    You made me cry. That one line, “You are not made of the words that hurt you,” got me started, and the stocking fillers sent me over the edge. I’m bisexual, and I haven’t come out to my parents, but if I ever do, I can only hope they’ll be as loving and accepting as you. Thank you so much.

    • Mom Melissa says:


      Two nights ago, I read some mean words about my Holiday Mom letter. Regardless of the judgement in those words, I know my mission here is one of love, support, and acceptance and that is a beautiful thing; words can’t change that. The words I read don’t define me anymore than mean or hateful words define you.

      Sometimes people are mean because they are afraid or lack understanding and sometimes people are hurtful simply because they themselves are hurting. Our only choice is how we respond (or don’t). I know your compassionate heart will always find a way to hold your head high in the face of adversity while showing kindness to those who are unable to do the same.

      I sat down with my kiddo that same night to talk about the mean words that I had read. This morning, I say to you the same words I said to him: there are people who won’t like you. There are people who will be mean to you. But this is your home. We are your family and this house will always be a safe place for you.

      I have a stocking with your name on it, Dominique, and I wish you a safe and joyous holiday season.

      Much love,

      • Tamilyn says:

        hugs to you both …often others meaness is their own insecurities and fears sometimes even jealousy based ..but it only has as much weight is u give it ..i would like to take every mean word you have heard and release the negitives and start a new page ..i’ll start it of…..You are loved soooooo much xo Happy Holidays!!!

  3. Sophie says:

    I can’t stop crying… I’ve listened to your message twice now and read it about five times and it really is comforting me. I’m not LBGTQ, but I have been struggling with acceptance from my family in other areas of my life.
    Mainly the stocking fillings just make the tears flow freely.
    Thanks for posting this.
    Your not in the right place holiday child,

    • Mom Melissa says:

      My sweet Sophie,

      I hear your heartache. I understand not being accepted by your family for other issues. That is my story with my own parents (and aside from being the mother of an LGBTQ child, a driving factor in deciding to do this). Baby, I know how that feels – judgement, rejection, and conditions placed upon you.

      I don’t know you’re story but I want you to know that there is a stocking hanging on my mantle with your name on it and it is overflowing with love and chocolates! Imagine me handing you tissue tonight – the soft kind with extra lotion. Imagine me wrapping my arms around you and telling you what a soft and gentle heart you have.

      You may not feel that you’re in the right place right now – that’s okay. I love you anyway – this crazy thing called “life” is a journey that we share together. I want you to be happy and healthy wherever that takes you.

      Sharing your tears and sending you love this holiday season,
      Your Mom Melissa

      • Sophie says:

        Dear mom Melissa,
        Again thank you so much for your kind and loving words. LGBTQ is not an issue in my family, my uncle is openly gay and he was married to a lovely man for many years (unfortunately he passed away 3 years ago).
        I listen to your kind words every day and they make me realize that I am accepted, maybe not so much by my family, but by other people as well. Thanks for the stocking, I’ll put one on my mantle filled with thanks and hugs. Your kind words once again move me to tears.
        The “your not in the right place holiday child” was more aimed at me not being LGBTQ and still posting on this website. Most of the time I am where I want to be, and do what I want to do.
        Sending you love back, and thanks again for your kind words! <3
        Your holiday child Sophie

        • Mom Melissa says:

          Thank you for clarifying, Sophie – obviously you’re welcome here and I’m so glad you found comfort here; it speaks to the need so many people need. Thanks for the holiday stocking; I can’t wait to open it on Christmas and get all those hugs!!

          Always your holiday mom,

  4. Larry says:

    A heart felt Thank you for your message of hope, caring and inspiration to those young GLBTQ and their families. It’s people like you that gives all of us a reason to believe that “It gets Better”.

    May you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.

    PFLAG Hugs

    • Mom Melissa says:

      Thank you, Larry. My hope and prayer is that we can reach people who need our love and support this holiday season. Please help us by sharing this website with others.

      There are so many of us that have love and hope to give, we just need people to accept it. I appreciate your encouragement. And yes, Larry, “It gets better.”

      With much respect,

      • Larry says:

        Hi Melissa,

        Thank you for the reply!
        I shared your message and the website to my friends and my PFLAG family from coast to coast.
        If you haven’t already, visit http://www.pflag.org and join our family. We Support,Educate and Advocate for all GLBTQ and their families. Much love and PFLAG hugs.

        • Mom Melissa says:

          Yes, I’m very familiar with the PFLAG organization. It offers a plethora of information and has been a very valuable resource to me.

          Thank you for sharing our website and spreading the word, Larry!

          Wishing you a happy holiday season,

  5. Amir says:

    I appreciate so much what all of you are doing. As I’ve mentioned in different comments, this will be my first Holiday without my partner in the two years since we’ve been together officially.

    I can’t tell my own family about who I really am without dire consequences, so “coming out” is not really an option I can entertain. So it is that I sit here feeling miserable and hopeless, and incredibly isolated, but these letters give me hope.

    I’ll see my partner again soon, and we can exchange gifts then, huddling under the blankets.

    Thank you so much for these words. They really give me hope.

    • Mom Melissa says:

      Dearest Amir,

      My heart breaks for you and your partner as you celebrate the holidays unable to openly share them together.

      I can imagine you and your partner openly sharing the season with us; all of us laughing, sipping hot chocolate, and opening presents together as we sit next to the lighted tree and listen to the embers crackle in the fireplace.

      I extend to you and your partner my love and acceptance. I pray that one day your family can accept you for who you are and understand that love knows no bounds.

      Sincere holiday wishes,

  6. Dylan says:

    Thank you.

    That was a wonderful email to start my work morning and warmed many heart even though its freezing here. I’m starting to feel more hopeful about the holidays and all you moms we making it easier to accept that this season will be my first without my mom.

    I love you all for doing this and bringing so much joy to so many people.

    • Mom Melissa says:

      Sweet Dylan,

      I’m so glad this email helped start off your very chilly Wednesday. I’ll imagine bringing you some coffee or hot chocolate and telling you to put on an extra sweater in my most firm “mom” voice. 😀

      I think I can speak freely for all of us when I say that we’re honored and honored to be your holiday moms and truly hope this helps you as you go through your first holidays without your mom.

      With much love,

      • Billie Sage says:

        Thank you so very much Mom Melissa, for being the change you wish the world to be. … Billie.

        • Mom Melissa says:

          Billie, I am humbled and honored to be able to share my love and acceptance as a Holiday Mom!

          I come to this project from a couple angles. I do not have a relationship with my own parents and haven’t for years – mostly because of religious beliefs (although there are plenty of surface issues that attempt to hijack the bottom line).

          Secondly, I come as a mother of an LGBTQ child – an AMAZING kiddo who has brought us nothing but joy and laughter over the years (except for that time we found the dent in the car). 😀 I can not imagine not wanting an active and engaged relationship with my child. Unfortunately, not all parents and families work that way.

          Holiday Moms have plenty of love to share and plenty of hope to give this holiday season. Thank you, Billie, for you kind and encouraging words.

          Hugs to you this holiday season,

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