Holiday Mom: Crystal

m20161128Happy holidays, and welcome home! You can see we have a blanket of snow covering the corn fields and pine trees around our house, but you come right inside and have some hot caramel apple tea with me. It’s a new discovery on my part, since I’ve had to cut myself off from coffee. I think it tastes like happy golden memories. Or if that’s not to your taste, we also have hot cocoa – I don’t know about golden memories, but it’s chocolate, and that’s close enough.

How are you? What’ve you been up to? Anything new in your life? Things seem more or less the same here – children growing and learning so quickly that they’ll be out of the house before you know it. Meara turned 10 this year! Double digits, can you believe it? And Merrick will be 5 in just a couple months.

If you remember, we homeschool, and we love doing science experiments. Tomorrow they wanted you to help them make some artificial snow to send as gifts to our friends who aren’t lucky enough to have white Christmases. Did I tell you about the Halloween pumpkins we did this year? Instead of lighting candles, we poured vinegar and baking soda in them, with a little food coloring. Foam poured out of their mouths and looked like .. well, I’m sure you can imagine. It was hilarious!

Are you hungry? I canned some chicken stock last night in anticipation of your visit, and there’s a savory chicken soup on the stove. I even made some fresh biscuits, and there’s still a jar of pumpkin butter leftover from October in the pantry. Never let it be said anyone leaves my house hungry!

Oh! We’re also having our annual cookie-baking party with my sister and all the kids this weekend. Would you like to join us? Just pick out a recipe, and everyone can pitch in! I’m thinking of making some snickerdoodles, as I usually do. I have a soft spot for simple sweets. The kids, of course, want fudge – I’m sure we’ll have an abundance of varied sweets by the end of the day!

I’ve already wrapped everyone’s Christmas Eve gifts. For a surprise this year, I got you one, too! You can open it a little early, though. Inside you’ll find warm pajamas, a holiday movie, and some movie-watching snacks. I thought we could pull the futon into the living room and all have a pajama party out there tonight, as a way of celebrating your visit!

We still need to decorate the tree some time this week, as well. The kids insisted on waiting til you arrived to finish it off. You know me, Queen Geek Extreme: we have a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who to top our tree and video game controller ornaments mixed in with the classic decorations. The lights are already on, though. My favorite ambient lighting!

It seems like the hustle and bustle of the holidays is never-ending, but it’s always so filled with joy and love. We are so glad you could join us this year. You know, we have a special place here for you whenever you want to visit. We love you, and think that you’re very special – you’re a unique addition to the world that we would never want to be without. So I want to make sure you’re taking care of yourself!

For now I’ll show you up to your room and let you unpack your things. There are extra quilts in the chest at the foot of your bed – oh, look, and also a cat. Weeko thinks people come just to see her, I swear. She’ll hop right up on your lap for love if you let her.

Once again, I’m so glad that you are here. One more big hug before I go back downstairs… I love you so much. Now unpack! Get comfortable! We have so much more we want to share with you this season!

All my best,
Your Holiday Mom Crystal


  1. Sean says:

    Dear mom,
    Thank you so much, if you need any help cleaning you let me know OK? Can we watch some anime together sometime? Or we can just get my hair redone and we can dye it blue this time! There is so much I Want do with you mom, thank you for having me over 🙂

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      Absolutely! The kids have been obsessed with Glitter Force on Netflix recently, it’s very Sailor Moon-esque. I love just about all kinds of anime, personally .. and I think it is contagious since Meara prefers manga over any other kind of book. I’d love to help you dye your hair, Sean!

  2. Cassidy says:

    Hi Mom!

    So happy to be visiting you this holiday season!! Wow, the kids are growing up so fast. I remember when they were both small enough for me to hold both of them at the same time!
    I can’t wait to help you all bake cookies – will we have sugar cookies? I love those, especially with cinnamon toppings. I’m sure Meara and Merrick will enjoy the signature chocolate chip ones, too! The more chocolate, the better.
    I love the Weeping Angel on top of the tree – so creative and wonderfully nerdy. 🙂 Careful… look away too long and it could go anywhere…
    I deeply appreciate your warm welcome and hope the kitty doesn’t mind the smell of my own cat on my clothing. He jumped into my suitcase and screamed at me for a while, so his fur is probably everywhere.

    Hugs and kisses!
    ~Your holiday child, Cassidy

    P.S. Sorry for the late reply! You know how busy I get when I’m in a play. This year I’m in A Christmas Carol, but steampunk version! I’m playing Charlie Dickens and actually get to switch from female to male during the show (we couldn’t decide if the character worked best as which gender, as the narrator, so I suggested the character was genderfluid, and no one opposed it!) I’m so excited for this, you don’t even understand. I hope you can find the time to come see it!

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      Cassidy, that play sounds amazing! I would love to see you perform in it – and I am so proud of you for speaking up and bringing a gender-fluid character into the classic piece.
      Of course we’ll have some sugar cookies – always have to have at least a few for frosting fun! I have all sorts of sprinkles this year – you can never have too many.

  3. Caolan says:

    Hi there, Mom!
    I’ve always wished I could have a nerdy parent beyond my dad. I mean, he’s cool, but he never really plays games with me anymore. Maybe instead of watching Christmas movies we could play some multi-player games. I’m certain we could find SOMETHING with a Christmas level. I can’t tell you how much that would mean to me.
    Weeko sounds adorable! I love affectionate feline companions. And I’d contribute to the baking with my bio family’s recipe for date scones. Try one– they’re fantastic served warm with milk! We made them for Santa ever since I was a little kid, figuring Santa would get bored of the cookies. (I even got to partake in the early eating of the scones one year…. *links lips* my little sister was none the wiser.) This child has been busy writing all month for National Novel Writing Month. It wouldn’t be November without the frantic clattering of keys for me.
    We’re you a Holiday Mom last year? I seem to remember you.
    Love you, mom!

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      I was not a holiday mom last year, but that’s when I discovered it and knew I had to be a part of it.
      Caolan, I would love to play some games with you. I can’t think of any holiday-themed levels off the top of my head, but we could always build one together in Little Big Planet or Minecraft! We also have all the Lego Star Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter games. These things breed like mad – you start with one, just for kicks, next thing you know you own every Lego game ever made.
      Date scones sound amazing! They’ll definitely be welcome! I’m not big into super rich desserts, so they will be right up my alley.
      Thank you for being here!
      Lots of love,
      Your Holiday Mom, Crystal.

  4. Grace says:

    Oh thank you… there is nothing else to say but thank you… I am moved beyond my ability to comment. My parents are westboro baptists, so these words are not ones I was ever prepared to hear. It warms my heart that you would share this type of love with someone like me; you don’t even know me.

    Recent years in my life have been incredibly difficult, and navigating life without any type of parental support or contact is especially rough this time of year. Just thank you. So much.

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      Grace, I’m glad to be able to say these words that you need to hear, and I want you to know that I absolutely mean them. You are important, and I care about you. The holidays can be tough – we need togetherness to keep the light shining on the long, dark nights. I’m sending you a big hug – take care of yourself!

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      You’re absolutely welcome, Bethany!! Sending you hugs and love!

  5. Wenxin says:

    Hello mom…it’s nice to be here. I’m very alone these days…my biological mom is always busy and never home and my dad…he hasn’t been around in years, no contact…no nothing. I’ve never made many friends, I’ve shied away from socialising after being bullied for so many years. And well…I’m bi but not out yet…the people I know aren’t very accepting and well…I’m scared. It can get so lonely it hurts…being alone at home with no company. I’m glad to be here…even if only virtually.

    Thank you but…I’m sorry I won’t be eating much…I don’t want to be ungrateful. I just…never liked what I saw when I looked in a mirror and I’ve just been struggling with food issues for a few years. I still find it hard to sit down and face food without fleeing to throw up immediately afterwards…or even eating at all. It’s a struggle but…I’m working on it.

    I don’t mind Weeko. She sounds sweet…and while I’ve hated human interaction…I’ve always loved animals. Especially cats. I wish I had a pet.

    I’m sorry to bother you…thank you for allowing me into your home xxx

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      Wenxin it is absolutely no bother at all. I’m happy to offer you a place in my heart and my home because you deserve it.
      I had a life very like yours growing up. My anxiety made it hard for me to meet new people, and growing up rural in a swing state meant that I felt scared to speak up about any feelings, ideas, or opinions that fell outside what I’d been taught was “the norm”. It’s OK to be scared – just remember that things will get better. You’ll meet people who you can trust – friends and chosen family that you can let inside. You’ll find people who will be patient and understanding while getting to know you.
      I will be happy to adapt to your food needs – if you need to be alone while you eat, or would like to take a hand in creating healthier alternatives to our treats, we can figure it out together. The important thing isn’t how you do it – it’s just that you take care of yourself. You deserve to love yourself because you are a beautiful, gentle person with so much inner strength – I’m very proud of you.

      • Wenxin says:

        You might not be saying the same thing when it comes down to having to make me eat haha…there was a point in time where I literally survived on one tablespoon of rice a day. How I did that with no one noticing…i’ll never know. I face that struggle every meal…if I don’t eat, I can literallt starve myself for several days. If I eat, I go into panic mode. Well…I’ll work on it.

        Oh…and while I can’t bake cookies without them burning or exploding in the oven (not even kidding. No more trying strange caramel recipes for me)…I do like to think I’m pretty alright at cupcakes. Even though I have a tendency to get burnt alot in the process. And my frosting skills are a flop. But still. They’re edible, and my cousins and the friends I do have like them 🙂

        I hope you don’t mind the fact that I’ll probably spend a lot more time with your cat then people…I am 110% a cat person…and I have no doubts I will fall in love with your cat the moment I set eyes on her.

        Thanks mom. For understanding <3 xxx

        • Shamama says:

          Dear Wexin, You know we moms just cant let a comment about not eating go by – we love you just as you are, but you must eat. It’s human, it’s part of being alive, it’s part of you being you… and I know it is more complex than that. But had to say something. We want you whole. Love, Shamama

        • Mom says:


          I love the amazing compassion that these other mamas have. Eating disorders are hard, I know you can’t “just stop”. Usually they come about as the result of chaos. It’s the one facet of your life that YOU control and no one else. That’s why it’s hard to quit – why give up control of the only thing you CAN control?

          Please take heart in what I and the other moms have expressed. You are treasure to each of us. You didn’t grow in my body but you have grown in my heart. That’s how being a mom works! Think about loving yourself and protecting our treasure. I don’t want for you to hurt your body and you most certainly will if you don’t take a different approach.

          I am a Type 1 diabetic so meals frustrate me too. Sometimes I have to eat when I’m not hungry or I can’t have what I really want. To stay healthy, I try to make a little game of it. Research recipes, plan my meals so they’re special. Even if it’s just me I light candles and sit at the table. I set goals for the number I am trying to achieve on the meter. If I’m in the right range then I win! You could try something similar. Plan your meal, make a goal of say, four bites. Or one bite of five different things. If you achieve your goal then give yourself a reward.

          Take care of yourself honey. This is important. YOU are important.

          Mom Trish

  6. Valerie says:

    Hi mom Crystal,
    Your letter made me smile a lot, thank you for inviting us into your wonderful family. It all sounds amazing and I’d love some new pyjamas! I also love to bake, so that won’t be a problem either, I love cooking with my cousins (4 and 2 years old), so I think baking with my holiday siblings will be fun as well!
    Lots of love,

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      There’s just something about a warm, soft pair of pyjamas that makes me feel like I’m getting a hug – silly, maybe, but if it works, it works! I’m glad you could join us! Hugs and love! <3

  7. Daniel says:

    Hi mom,
    I’ve missed you so much from last year and I can’t believe your kids have grown so fast! Your son here just turned 20, who let me try and be an adult I’ll never know. I’m still in school for art and I’m almost done, hopefully another year until I graduate.
    I’m delighted that you let me into your home this season, I’m too scared to come out to my bio family as trans because I’ve heard from them they don’t support trans people. Oh well, at least I have many wonderful families like yours who will be happy to see me.
    I’d love to try everything you’ve made from chicken soup and pumpkin butter to your snickerdoodle cookies. I’m never one to shy away from snacks and meals and I would love to join you in your cookie baking party again. I’ll probably choose a triple chocolate cookie recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth and of course I’ll share with everyone. I love cats too so Weeko is always welcome to sleep with me and get some love. You have a wonderful home and I’ll enjoy looking outside at the snow covered pine trees every morning. Again thank you for letting me stay with you during the holiday season.
    Love, Your Little Daniel

    • Holiday Mom Crystal says:

      Daniel, I’m so glad you could join us this year! I can’t believe you’re 20 now, too. Time really does fly. Here’s a hint about adulthood : most of us are just as confused as you are, we’ve just had more time to figure things out. I remember when I thought that everything would just “click” one day and I’d suddenly know how to balance my checkbook and pay my bills on time. Then I gradually realized that wasn’t ‘gonna happen and I got around to figuring it out one step at at time. I still balk at making phone calls, though.
      You’re always welcome here with us, and I completely support you: your identity is valid and important. There are lots of families here at Your Holiday Mom that agree!
      Triple chocolate cookies? You’ll definitely win Merrick over with that one! That’s all he wanted to eat at Thanksgiving dinner – of course, those weren’t homemade, so he’ll be even more pleased.
      I’ll bring you some extra blankets because it’s more fun looking out at a snowy scene when you’re extra warm. Thank you for joining us, and I hope you have a fantastic holiday season here with us!

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