Holiday Mom: Ricki

Holiday Mom: Ricki

Dear Teens,

This year Hanukah falls at the same time as Christmas.  It might even feel like too much – like the whole entire world is happy, and of course the flip side of that is that you might feel like the only one in the entire world who’s not that happy.  Here’s what I can promise you –  NOT everyone is happy.  Almost everyone has some sadness.  And your unhappiness is temporary.  Being a teen is tough on a good day – and feeling shamed, or not accepted or loved – well that can certainly feel like a bit too much.

But here’s the deal.  I am here.  Millions of others are here too, loving and supporting you.  No matter how you feel.  Tell you what I’m going to do, and I hope you do it along with me.  Every night at Hanukah when we light the menorah, I’m going to whisper a little affirmation just for you.  Here are my eight wishes, eight gifts for you – one for each night. When you see those candles, think of these:

  1. One smile. At anything. A cookie, a kid, a dog.  Whatever brings you joy – remember it, and tuck it away.
  2. A compliment. What’s that thing you do so well? Sing? Video games? Drawing? Think about something that you’re awesome at, and tuck that away too.
  3. Your age. It might feel like a long time until you’re on your own and independent, but I promise you it will be here soon enough. This part of your life isn’t your whole life!
  4. Acceptance – I accept who you are, 100% and without question.
  5. Appreciation – Not only do accept you, I so appreciate what makes you special.
  6. Compassion – I already know that by being who you are right now and feeling what you’re feeling, that you will be a beautiful compassionate adult with so much love to give. Save that feeling.
  7. Distance – If your parents or grandparents give you a hard time, let’s just say that that’s THEIR problem, not yours. Look at them from a distance and see their shortcomings. Whoever doesn’t accept a child obviously has their own issues because you certainly didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s hard to shift, I know, but try it for one day.
  8. LOVE. I, and millions of teens like you, are sending you love.

Happy, Happy Hanukah.  Don’t forget to see a drop of acceptance and love every time you see a candle during the holiday.

With Gigantic Mom Hugs,



  1. Sara says:

    thank you so much for your warm wishes and taking time from your family to help us feel better about our holidays…


    • ricki says:

      Sara, you – and thousands of other teens who might be reading this or who aren’t reading this – are always in my thoughts and prayers. You are never alone. Think of me as that “hand holding mom” who reminds you to sit up straight, TRY to eat some greens, and loves you unconditionally.
      Sending love and hugs –

  2. Valerie says:

    Hey holiday mom,
    You are so right, thank you so much for writing!
    I hope you’re having an amazing Hanukah!

    • ricki says:

      Hi there Valerie!
      Thanks for the note. Since tonight is the sixth night let’s all remember compassion. (Good reminder for me as well – as I got so impatient in a traffic jam this morning. Turned out someone had a flat tire in the middle of the road. And YOU Valerie just reminded me that their day was completely shot – not mine, just because of a little extra traffic.) Hope you are enjoying the last week of a long, strange year. Good time for a re-set for sure!
      Sending love –

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