I welcome you into my heart and into my home. We’re a young family, and our traditions are young. Some of them have roots in our childhoods, and others are all our own. I love Christmas. I treat every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s like it’s Christmas day.
We spend a lot of dark December evenings huddled together under a blue afghan that belonged to my grandmother, watching 30-minute kids’ Christmas specials. We’ll probably sing along to the music in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Someday our two-year-old son Emmanuel will sing with us, or roll his eyes, or whatever it is that children do when the pretend to outgrow their parents.
Dad loves jazz and plays the soundtrack to the Peanuts Christmas special by the Vince Guaraldi Trio while he makes dinner. I put on Sufjan Stevens’ holiday albums and sing along for hours. I’ll make us homemade cocoa with crushed peppermint–something I learned from my own mom.
We put the Christmas tree up together the day after Thanksgiving because I can’t wait. If it were up to me, we’d do it November 1st. It’s not what you’d call a “pretty” tree…it’s scraggly, plastic and the ornaments have never matched. But that’s why they’re special. Our tree ornaments are family heirlooms, and gifts, and handmade trinkets, illuminated by blinking rainbow lights (white lights are no fun!). It’s basically Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, and we like it that way.
We’ll make cookies together. Every year we make Peanut Butter Kisses and Peber Noders. I always make a huge mess because I don’t bake often, but piles of flour and bits of dough in my hair are worth it if we all get to sit together and have warm cookies and milk as a family. Emmanuel is never happier than when he’s eating cookies.
We open gifts together on Christmas morning, but the real joy is in the celebration of love and generosity at the heart of the holiday season. Every year, we donate to a charitable organization in our son’s name. When he’s old enough to understand, we’ll let him choose.
You are welcome here. If someday I find out my son identifies as LGBTQIA+, he will always be welcome and loved and I will defend him to the end of my days. I will defend you. I will defend love.
Love and peace,
Your holiday mama Lacy, dad Chris, and brother Emmanuel