Holiday Mom: Gina

Holiday Mom: GinaDear Friend,

I never imagined myself as a Holiday Mom, but when I thought about kids/young adults not being included in the “typical” family holidays it made me really sad. When I was growing up I never felt like I fit in. I had a birth defect, right in the middle of my face. I was made fun of all the time. I had no brothers or sisters and my parents were separated, then together several times, before they divorced.  By time I was 13 I found drugs and alcohol.

They took me places I never thought I would go, but they also kept me alive long enough to get sober. I had all kinds of feelings, most of them not-so-good. I am now in recovery, clean and sober for over 27 years. I am straight, so I haven’t had the same experiences, but have seen the devastation of what feeling isolated and lonely can do.

So it is with this letter. I believe that we are all part of a great big family. We are all connected.

When I was young, my mom and I would either spend the holidays alone or go join another family. I always thought they took pity on us. When I was finally living on my own, I began to have what I called an “orphan” Thanksgivings &/or Christmas’s, by inviting other friends that didn’t have any place else to go during the holidays. I didn’t want anyone to be alone, because I felt I knew the isolating feelings that come from not having what others had.

Today I have a husband and two almost grown children. Over the years we have opened our hearts and homes to others who have not had “conventional” holidays.

So during this time of the year, I invite you into our “home”. We eat way too much. We argue over little things, but we hold each other close, physically and emotionally. Our family is not perfect, but we do love one another. I want to extend this love to you. My hope is that during the holidays, whatever or however you choose to celebrate, that you know you are not alone. My belief is that we are all here for a reason and one thing we need to do is find our purpose, our passion. Sometimes we need to move through the icky and uncomfortable to get to the understanding of why we are here at this moment in time. And sometimes, it can take awhile. But there will come a day, where we will see how our experience can help others and sometimes, that is what we need to hold on to.

As I grew up with my birth defect, and the people who picked on me, I began to develop a true sense of self. As I got older, I realized that Spirit (whatever you call it), has a purpose for me. And after a while, I began to think that maybe, through my hard years and many tears, I could share my own experience with someone walking through the rough waters of life.

This holiday season, I extend my hand, my heart, and my experience to trust the process, however uncomfortable it may be at times. Some days, it is as simple as putting one foot in front of another. Other days feel more full of hope. And still others have the faith that life IS good and all is well.

Where ever you are, please know that you are loved. You are special. You are here on purpose. And most importantly, you are never alone.

I wish you a peaceful holiday season. May love and joy be with you.

Holiday Mom ~ Gina


  1. Andy says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. For years I survived an abusive situation by drinking, but even after I was out of that situation, I kept drinking. Then this summer my partner expressed great concern for my health to such an extent that I finally had to admit to myself that it was time to let go of my alcohol dependence, that I don’t need it anymore. Life is still hard, but whenever I feel tempted to self-medicate, I seek out love and support instead, and it helps me get through.

    • Mom Gina says:

      Dear Andy,
      I’m glad you wrote and thanks for sharing your story as well.
      It sounds like you are moving through some difficult times and have found a way to seek out the love and support you need. Help is all around us and all we have to do is ask. Speaking here shows that you have strength and courage to take care of yourself, so good for you! I have found that sometimes, being around people that have some of the same issues, (physical abuse or substance dependency) can sometime offer the kind of support that those who haven’t been through those issues can’t. You know they say, strength in numbers. Anyway, keep it up and hang with the winners if you want to stay away from abusive situations and alcohol dependence.
      Holidays can be especially difficult, but remember you are a beloved child and you can get through it, one day at a time. Stay connected here or someone else where you feel safe.
      We truly don’t have to get through this alone. I will be your holiday mom, and there are many others here that are willing and able to be with you through the holidays.
      So Andy, thank you for reaching out. You can do this.
      I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Carter says:

    Hi mom!
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s takes bravery to do that and I will take it with me when I’m in a tough situation in my life Youre truly beautiful on the inside for opening up your home to us and I can’t wait to spend the holidays with you.
    Love you!

    • Mom Gina says:

      Hi Carter,
      I’m so glad you wrote. I think what you are going through is brave too. We can gather strength from those around us. You know, we are all examples, some good and some not so good. So we can be the example of strength and courage. We both have a chance to show the good that we are!
      Please feel free to write again. I would love to hear from you.

  3. Dylan says:

    Dear Holiday Mom
    Thank you for accepting me and sharing your story with me. My name is Dylan and I’m 16. I identify as gender-fluid so it’s hard to be accepted by my bio family. I am so grateful for an opportunity to be loved and accepted around the holiday season. I also eat a lot and love to talk so I think I’ll feel at home with your family. Thank you again so much! And is it okay if my girlfriend visits? I don’t get to see her that much and since the holidays are coming up it’ll be harder to see her.
    Love Dylan

    • Mom Gina says:

      Hi Dylan,
      I am so glad you wrote. Yes, I hope you will feel “at home” here. You are definitely loved and accepted, even beyond the holiday season.
      I imagine it can be hard, but the fact that you are reaching out is really big. We don’t have to do anything alone.
      So yes, you are welcome here. and yes, you can have your girlfriend visit.
      I look forward to hearing back from you. We can have some virtual food and talk.
      The door is open. So take care and write back.

      • Dylan says:

        Dear Mom
        Thank you so much! I am so grateful for your family to let me celebrate this holiday season with them. I’ll bring some games we can all play together.
        See you soon!
        Love Dylan

        • Mom Gina says:

          Dear Dylan,

          It’s great to hear back from you.I hope you are doing well.

          I gotta tell you, I’ve never been a holiday mom before, so I’m not really sure how to do this thing. But I can tell you I am a mom, and a daughter, and I know how important it is to feel included and loved. I want you to know YOU ARE BOTH!

          You never told me your girlfriend’s name. In fact, I don’t really know much about you. What grade are you in? What is your favorite subject? Your least favorite subject? Do you have any hobbies outside of school?

          I recently began tole painting. It’s very hard and scary, because the other women who I paint with have been doing it for years and I’m the newbie. I’m trying not to let fear get in the way of the excitement I experience when I have a brush and some color. Maybe when I finish my project I can upload it and share it with you. I must warn you, it will be a while.

          I just wanted to send you a quick “hello” and let you know I was thinking about you. I have a busy day ahead. I’ll check back later. Until then, remember you are special, you are one of a kind, and having you here is a blessing.
          Please take that with you throughout each day.
          With love,

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