Holiday Mom: Mom Ro

Holiday Mom: Mom RoHappy Chrismukkah from New Orleans!

Like always, Christmas and Hanukkah are overshadowed by frenzied preparations for Mardi Gras, but I can make all the time in the world to celebrate All The Things with you!

I’ve started putting up the decorations already. It’s early, but might as well bring some extra light into a dark season, right?  Some people might raise an eyebrow at our black tree, but the black & white striped ornaments and ribbons look so beautiful, IMO. I’m wrapping all the presents in black and white paper too, and am thinking a touch of red – or maybe lime green for the bows? Haven’t decided, so I can leave that pop of color – or not – up to you. Even though Hanukkah is late this year, abba’s lion menorah is on the living room mantel, and there’s a big bag of the good gelt – the kind that actually tastes like real chocolate!

I hope we can get out and do something fun for the holidays. What would you like to do? There’s the Krewe of Jingle parade on Canal Street. It’s on my birthday this year, so I hope you’ll be the first person to pin a dollar bill on my coat! Maybe later, we can take the streetcar uptown and do the Garden District holiday home tour. The houses are so big and beautifully decorated, but our cozy little shotgun house is just as homey, especially at this time of year.  Afterwards, we can continue the family tradition of going to Commander’s Palace to have a yummy Reveillon dinner. They always make such excellent choices for those special holiday menus, and if you know whom to ask, they’ll make it vegan or vegetarian.

The sweetest New Orleans tradition is caroling in Jackson Square, the week before Christmas. It’s nice seeing so many people coming together and raising their voices in song. And, this being one of the most musical places on earth, we can sing the heck out of a carol!

It’s pretty cool that Hanukkah starts right before Christmas this year, and then, of course, Kwanzaa begins right after. Some of the neighborhood kids have promised to come over and teach us more about Kwanzaa if we teach them about Hanukkah.

What’s your favorite thing about this time of year? Mine is that the holiday season doesn’t let up in New Orleans; it just keeps going! As soon as Christmas is over, it’s only a week until New Year’s, and even better – after that, only six more days until Carnival Season begins! So there’s another month or two of festivities.

Be ready to get covered in glitter. I’ve busted out all the craft stuff to decorate shoes for the Krewe of Muses Mardi Gras parade, and I’d love for you to help. Can’t tell you (you can peek if you promise not to say a word), but the one I’m making for Uncle Don & Uncle Billy is EPIC!  The starting point is a ‘70s disco-era men’s high-heeled ankle boot, with flames on the side of it. I’m nearly done with the one to celebrate Uncle Chris & Uncle Fred’s wedding; a little more traditional, but they’re traditional guys, so it’s totally appropriate.

I love having people over to help work on shoes – it always turns into a party. Our Mardi Gras peeps are so wonderful – loving, generous, inclusive folks who’d do anything for their friends.  Doesn’t matter how creative or talented they are – there’s nothing I can’t fix, and sometimes I get surprised with a work of art that’s truly beautiful and unexpected! Just like you!

Much love and light,

Your Holiday Mom, Ro

3 comments

  1. Lake says:

    Mom,

    Thank you so much for being so amazing and welcoming this holiday season. I’ve had a pretty bad year. My parents made me come out to them while I was still questioning and what I told them was wrong so when I was actually ready to come out to them they were really confused and were Infuriated that I would lie to them about my sexuality. My dad was pretty accepting. Then, my brother moved out and went to university. It was really just him and me against my dad. My dad always told me that I’m fat and unlovable. My brother always stood up for me.

    On September 23, my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. Its inoperable and the medication doesn’t do anything. He hasn’t had a lot of energy to do anything, so he hasn’t been that hostile towards me but he still says passive aggressive things to me daily.

    Also, people at school always make me feel horrible about myself. They put gum in my hair, they throw trash at my group/me in the lunch room, they scream horrible things at us in the hallway. they tape stuff to my locker like “Fag” “loser” “goth” etc… Lots of teachers know, And don’t care. It sucks here and I cant wait to graduate and move out. I’m so glad that someone cares. Thank You. I’m sorry that was so long and I’m sorry if I made anyone angry or something.
    -Lake

      • Mama Ro says:

        Oh, baby. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, and about the pressure you faced to come out. And some of those folks at your school – ugh. What awful darkness they must have inside to mistreat anyone like that.I hope you know that it’s not about you and your group – it’s all about their issues and what’s wrong in their hearts and minds.

        The best thing a grown lady like me can tell a young person is to HANG IN THERE. I know it sounds trite, and hard to accept when you’re on the receiving end of such heinousness, but it really DOES get better.

        Your family…your school…these were not your choices. Soon, you will be able to make your own decisions about where to go and what to do with your life. You are so smart and such a beautiful person,you will find many, many good, caring, supportive people with whom to surround yourself.

        That’s why I chose to write about our Mardi Gras family and interfaith friends. This is a family we created, and it’s full of loving, kind, accepting people. There are always going to be haters out there, but having a good support system is like a vaccine against the harm they will try to do. You will find your tribe, and have a much greater degree of freedom that will allow you to avoid those who don’t accept you exactly as you are.

        There is so much love and joy in the world! It’s a shame that it’s not simply given to everyone from the start, but please know that it’s out there for you to find. In the meantime, you’ve always got me. Love you!

        Mama Ro

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