Holiday Mom: Suzanne


suzanneMy dearest one,

I wasn’t able to have children of my own so jumped at the chance to be your Holiday Mom. My heart is so full knowing that you are reading my words of love to you this Solstice.

For as long as I can remember, I have referred to this time of year as the season of light. And it is by far my most favorite holiday. A time when we can be cozy indoors while the cold rain rages outside. There is something so magical about the Pagan tradition of bring a full grown tree into the home and decorating with lights and ornaments passed down from my family, specifically my grandmother. She would have loved you as dearly as I do.

We celebrate the Solstice under the guise of a secular Christmas. Complete with a tree, gifts, and stockings. We tend to gift one another those things that are needed with a few fun things that support our work in the world and our dreams. This year, a new sofa for the living room is on the list as well as The Addams Family TV show from the 1960s on DVD.

What is on your list this year? I already have a few things in mind but want to make sure that you receive exactly what you want.

Your holiday father and I have been so very blessed to be godparents to a precocious four year old and share in the lives of our friends’ children. It is not the same as having your own which is why we are so delighted to have you with us this year — so that you can share in our celebration and take full advantage of our love. 

Ten years ago, I experienced the hardest holiday season ever. Earlier that year, I had experienced a very hard break up with my live-in boyfriend. Let’s just say we weren’t on the same page. And I had also decided to change my role as an enabler in my family which left me on my own for the holidays.

To me, this holiday is about family. So what does it become about when you don’t have one anymore? In my case, a dear friend picked me up and took me to his family’s Christmas Eve celebration and then drove me to see that neighborhood in Seattle where every house is decorated with lights. If it hadn’t been for my friend, I don’t know if I would be here today as I was ever so heartbroken from so much loss that year.  And now I want to do the same for you, through this letter of love and comfort. 

What I want you to know is this:

You are loved beyond measure. 

I support you and your goals.

I am so honored to be you Holiday Mom. My face glows at the very thought of you. And I am hugging you virtually as you read my words.

Always know that you are perfect as you are. You never need to hide yourself from me or your Holiday Dad. We are here for you always. 

Wishing you all the light of the season from the bottom of my heart.

xoxoxo, You Holiday Mom

Suzanne

Special News!

shutterstock_59991859Your Holiday Mom is so excited to share that we will be LIVE this holiday season! 

First, the app at Moovz  is partnering with YourHolidayMom.com to bring two live events – one Christmas Eve from 3-4 PM Eastern and one Christmas Day at the same time – to those LGBTQ family members who need a mom’s love this holiday season. Join “Shamama” and LGBTQ model and advocate Colby Melvin as we each bring our own loved ones to a live broadcast! Download the Moovz app, search for #yourholidaymom and you’re set to go!

IN ADDITION… Join me (Shamama), Holiday Dad Burt, and Holiday Mom Marni from our Tumblr blog as we celebrate the season with you LIVE on Blab.im (you’ll need to visit through RobinRice.com  on Christmas Eve, Decmeber 24, at 7 PM Eastern Time.

Please join us for one or more of these events – we want to show you just how much we LOVE having you as our holiday child! We can’t wait to meet you!

Big Hugs, Shamama

Holiday Mom: Carin (And Reese!)

Reese and CarinMy dear holiday child;

Welcome back! Come in and see the new place! We have so much to get caught up on. The girls are doing great, and our grandson is growing and getting big and strong. Goodness the time between visits is too long. *HUG*

The last couple of years we have had a chance to share some holiday traditions that we do for decorating and feasting together. Today as it is still early in the holiday season so we have some preparation things to share with you. Today we will be making Acadian meat pies. This version comes from the Evangeline region of PEI. I have found that there is a big difference in meat pies depending on where you are from so, I want to be specific especially since people can be very emotionally attached to their version of meat pie.

Growing up I didn’t have holiday traditions beyond opening presents on Christmas morning, so when Catrina and Tasha came along I decided to create some, from the yearly ornaments to the latest family member putting the angel on the tree. So, about 12 years ago when my best friends mother offered to show me how to make Acadian meat pies, as she was taught by her mother-in-law, I jumped at the chance. Now, we have adopted this tradition. Not only are they wonderful during the holidays but we save one for February when the shine of the season has worn off and we need a boost.

We have a busy day ahead of us! Grab a coffee darling, lets get started. This is a 2 day process so I started the meat process yesterday. I roasted a turkey and a pork roast, they are done and need to be de-boned and the meat shredded. All the juices need to go into the big pot on the stove. I will prepare the seasoning pouch of pickling spices and then I will dive in to help you shred the meat. All this goes back on the stove to simmer while we make crust.

The pie crust for this is actually simple bread dough. Yes, we will need a lot of dough. I remember how strong you are, we got this handled. Once the dough has had a chance to rise once, we will roll it out into pie plates, fill the centers with that wonderful meat that has now been stewing with the spices, adding in just a bit of juice to keep things moist, put a top on it, a small slice in the top for venting and let it rise a second time. Once this is done, we can start baking them off.

Last year I made 15 pies. I know it seems like a lot but we have dinner tonight, I am sending some home with the girls and you are taking home 3 as well. One for the holiday time of your choice, one for February to shake out the blues and one for whenever you want.

(Dad Reese)

I just thought I’d stick my head in the kitchen and see how you’re getting along. Your mom is dominating all of your time with these meat pies, and I’m hardly getting to see you! Give your old man a hug.

You’re not going to believe this, but while we were packing I found the two Nerf darts that went missing last year. You know what that means. It means I am fully equipped for a Nerf war after dinner!

We have company coming over tonight, two married couples, Tessa and Kate and Alex and Mark. I can hardly wait to introduce you. Maybe we can introduce them to Nerf gun fights, what do you say?

I guess I’d better leave you two to your meat pies. I see the dog is begging for some meat. Don’t give her any, she’s already farting up a storm and we need to be able to breathe!

(Mom Carin)

Thank you for your help today, my darling child. I notice when you are not around, and I miss your bright spark. You bring light to everything you do and I treasure our time together. Know that I think of you often and I love being able to share these times together. Remember you are family and are welcome to adopt any or all of our traditions or make wonderful new ones of your own and share them with those you love. Hang on to the love you feel and leave yourself little reminders (like a meat pie in February) of the times when you are surrounded by those who love you.

You are our bright spark

Love, Mom Carin and Dad Reese

Holiday Mom: Amy

amyMy Dear Holiday Child,

Come inside, kick off your shoes, and let me give you a big hug. You are so incredibly special to me.

Welcome to our home! I love for this house to be an open, welcoming, boisterous place where friends are welcome and there’s always room for one more at our table. There’s certainly room for you, in my house and in my heart.

We have a 5-year-old daughter (your Holiday Sister, Charlotte), and it’s a lot of fun to try to make the holidays magical for her. She is a sweet, energetic (okay, rambunctious) kid who loves to meet new people. In fact, new people are her favorite thing. You’re going to show up at our house and be an instant rock star.

We love to decorate our house with lights and garlands and ceramics painted by my husband’s grandmother. We bake cookies, sing songs, and watch cheesy holiday specials. I love days that we set aside for baking – the house smells of chocolate and gingerbread and peppermint. My daughter loves to “help,” so we play music, sing along, and get messy together. I have an extra apron if you’d like to help too (keeping Little Miss from eating too much of the batter totally counts as helping, by the way). Or, if you’d rather, feel free to sit at the table and keep me company. Here, I’ll make you a cup of hot chocolate.

What are your holiday traditions? We celebrate Christmas, but we welcome your traditions as well – after all, this is your holiday house too! Some years we invite our Jewish friends over to help us trim the tree. We spend the afternoon decorating and then at sundown they get out their menorah and we light the candles for that night. I’ve never celebrated Kwanzaa or other winter holidays, but if you do I’m happy to learn about and participate in your traditions.

We often have friends over for brunch on Christmas morning. One of my family’s traditions is that we always have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas, and in the last few years I’ve started making them myself. What are your favorite holiday foods? I’d love to cook them for you. Also, let me know if you have any food restrictions. That way, I can make a holiday celebration everyone can enjoy!

Our backyard has a great sledding hill, and you are welcome to come outside with us and hop on a sled. Come on, I’m taking a turn too! After we’ve had our fill, we can go into the family room and hunker down under some blankets by the fireplace, maybe with something hot to drink.

Before I forget, can you please let me know your pronouns? We’ll do our best to use them consistently, and if we slip up I promise it will be because of absent-mindedness rather than disrespect.

Later on, after your Holiday Sister is in bed, let’s just sit on the sofa and quietly talk. You are so very dear to me and I want to know you. I want to know what you like, what you’re passionate about, what your dreams are. Do you have a favorite show? We can marathon it together, if you want. Let’s sit a while, just you and me, and cherish these peaceful late-night moments, as the house quiets around us and the world goes to sleep.

My dear, dear holiday child. I hope as you’re reading this that you’re someplace safe and warm. I hope you know that you are loved, cherished, and wanted. I hope you know you are forever in my heart. You deserve all the love and acceptance the world has to give.

Love,

Your Holiday Mom

Amy

Your Holiday Mom: Lily

liz turek

To hear Lily reading your letter,  you can click right here!

My Dearest Holiday Child,

How are you? The holidays are upon us. Everywhere around us are the sounds, sights and smells of a joyous time. I am well and am looking forward to the holiday season.

If I had to pick a holiday that I love the most, its this one. My family celebrates Christmas. Each year, I think back to when I was a child, and realize, I am incredibly lucky. The most important lesson I learned was that there was always room for one more person, or two (or a whole family) at our table. Whether it was a turkey dinner, or ice fishing, or just making s’mores in the wood stove. There is always room. I learned that no one should feel lonely or be turned away at this time of year. I learned that even those with little, still give and share, because giving is more important than receiving. As a parent, it’s my job to teach my children a lot of different things. Love, acceptance, generosity, how to be humble, tolerance and when the need presents itself (which is often)….patience. I am constantly amazed with what my children can say and do. Like recently, Bubbles (my oldest daughter, she is 9) got permission and organized a fundraiser, by selling bracelets that she and her classmates are making. We had no clue she had done any of this until a recent parent teacher conference, and I am so proud and speechless at the work she has put into this.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to fathom the idea that a parent won’t or has trouble showing unconditional love and understanding to their child. For in you, is so much potential, so much love. Please know, that I will not turn a cold shoulder to you. Not ever. You are who you are, you cannot change that, and I think you are perfectly imperfect. I love you just the way you are. No matter how you identify yourself or which orientation you have, no matter which pronouns you prefer to use, and no matter who you decide to love. No matter how messed up you feel you might be, there is nothing you can do or say that will make me love you any less. In fact, I will only love you more. My roll as your mother is to guide you, encourage you to strive for those life decisions that will make you the happiest, whatever those might be. Everyone needs someone in their corner, to cheer them on unconditionally.

Sometimes it’s not blood that makes a family, but the people around you that love, and accept you and want you in their lives. So let me open my arms when you come to my door. I want to give you (and your partner if you have one) the biggest, warmest, welcoming hug, and invite you inside. I will give you a cup of steaming hot chocolate decorated with marshmallows and crushed candy cane. My husband J.T., and our daughters, will welcome you. Bug (who is only 4) will ask your name and if you like to play with legos. Bubbles will be excited that you are coming, and both are going to show you all their toys and fun things, as this is their ritual, they even do this to their grandparents. You will be the most popular, funny, and huggable person of the holiday. We will sit and catch up on all the things you’ve been doing and where your goals are taking you. I will tell you how happy I am that you came, and you would see an excited and proud smile on my face when I listened to everything you have to say.

Our traditions usually begin when I break out the Christmas box. There are two things in the box that come out right away, the Count Down Blocks to the days until Christmas and the advent calendar. There are extra candies in the calendar so you can celebrate with us, however, you might have a wrestling match when it comes to the countdown blocks. Bug and Bubbles love to make sure that the count down is completely accurate. The stockings are hung, with extras for you (Bug and Bubbles will make sure of that). The candles are next. I love smells that give me nostalgia, Gingerbread cookies and peppermint especially. The tree, while artificial, is still beautiful when done. The star that will sit on top, is silver with ornate molding and embossing. You have the honor of putting it on top. Then we will turn off most of the lights and light the tree to see it finished. The gifts will be stacked and tucked in under the tree.

What’s next? Cookies! It’s not Christmas with cookies! This year is our family’s second year with a new tradition. Each year, we go out and find a unique cookie cutter, and we make gingerbread cookies. Last year, we made Zombie Gingerbread people! The whole house smells like warm ginger when we get the cookies into the oven. I guarantee, you will have flour from head to toe when we’re finished. We can sit and help the girls decorate. Perhaps you’ll even be presented with a version of ‘Jingle Bells, Batman Smells…’ as sang by Bug. We would make a double batch of cookies, so when you leave you have plenty to take with you.

In our home, we do not believe in a Santa Claus, they understand the legend and stories behind Santa Claus but they know he is not real. However, Bubbles and Bug know there is a Santa Secret and enjoy pretending. On Christmas Eve, we make s’mores, and watch Christmas movies. In the morning, wrapped gifts and a sparkling tree is what your sleepy eyes will find. We all open gifts and look through stockings, still in our pajamas with cups of hot chocolate.  There would be wrapping paper everywhere after all the gifts were opened. I’m sure you’ll have bits of paper or tape stuck to those christmas socks on your feet. Funny how it takes thought into wrapping those boxes so the paper doesn’t rip, yet it’s still so fun to rip that paper when you finally get to. It’s almost like bubble wrap.

Turkey, Beef Brisket, or maybe Roasted Chicken. Depending on what sounds good, is what we will make. Most of all, I would love for you to be in my kitchen helping me. The best memories are when my family helps me in the kitchen. There will be Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing, lumpy mash potatoes, cornbread, dinner rolls, roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon, roasted asparagus, peas, and broccoli salad. We will be sitting at a little table built for 7. Egg nog, hot chocolate, and board games will take up our evening. Perhaps a game of Munchkin, or Fluxx, or Pirates Vs. Ninjas. Then we will have desserts, Apple Crumble, ice cream, and fresh fruits.

I will be so happy that you came to spend the holiday with us and I will be sad that you have to go. Bug will not want to see you go, and she will ask you to stay just one more day. Bubbles will ask you to play one more game before you have to go. I told you, you’d be popular, did I not?

So you must promise me, that you’ll look after yourself. Keep your chin up, and keep that beautiful smile on your face. I want you to try your best to tackle the obstacles in your way, and conquer every mountain that you need to climb. Know that I am sending you love and thinking of you every day, and every holiday you are not at home with us.

Much Love Always, Lily

PS. Don’t forget your cookies!

Holiday Mom: Lena


lenaDear Holiday Child,

 We are so excited and happy that you will be with us virtually for the holiday season.   We are very blessed to have you join us, wherever you are. 

 We begin the holiday season with the festival of lights “Diwali” in late November.  Your holiday mum comes from an East Indian background, and this the one holiday I like to the start the season with.  It’s a great gathering to start with because it means overcoming darkness though light.  Its love, positivity, and hope for everyone.   Its all really easy and fun to celebrate, we place candles in window panes to encourage light into our homes and hearts.  We will all (regardless of ethnicity and orientation) dress in our finest bollywood outfits.  We will start with home-made somosas your grandmother and I made and order Indian take out for the rest.  We will all enjoy the night and celebrate the light coming into our lives.

 After we have digested the Indian food, we will then go to Canadian tire and pick this years addition our Christmas village.  It’s a democracy so your input is very important.  Its all about strategy and scale, sometimes we cant decide so we buy a couple and everyone tries to explain/justify as to why their choice should be close to the main square.

 Your dad and grandpa are big chocolate fans so after Canadian tire the next trip is to get to an advent calendar at the mall.  Since our little guy is only three this is the year he also gets an advent calendar.  We will examine every calendar at the mall for quality and design.  Again it’s a democracy, everyone including the grandparents will have the same calendar.

 At this point, being a mum, I will check in to make sure everyone is fully hydrated, sleeping well, and eating their veggies.  Christmas can be stressful and so commercial.  I  want to make sure you know you are loved and we are thinking of you.  You are always in our thoughts and your well-being matters to us.  

 Once the house is decorated, your holiday dad will put up the fake tree we bought at Canadian Tire a couple of years ago.  We will spend some time placing the ornaments on the tree.  We collect ornaments, so each year any new ornament will be discussed and placed strategically.  We look forward to what ornament you will be adding to the tree and what it means to you.  Once the house is decorated, we shut off the lights and head to the airport.

 Pack your swimmers, we are heading to Palm Springs for the first Christmas celebration.  We have it all planned out, but your input is important, yep another democracy.  Christmas eve will be at the pool, and then we will be meeting up with some other folks for Christmas day buffet at a local hotel.  We like buffets, you can have whatever you want, we have a vegetarian, gluten free and picky toddler so this works very well.

 After Christmas and boxing day shopping, we will then head back and celebrate news years with the rest of the family, this is another big celebration, early Ukrainian Christmas.  Your holiday dad is half Ukrainian and your holiday grandma will make the perogies and cabbage rolls from scratch.  It’s a very special time, as we discuss what the year will bring for us and especially for you.  We look forward to hearing all your plans, goals and your wish list.  We are so looking forward to seeing the bright future you have ahead of you.  We are also proud that you are true to yourself and despite any setbacks in the last year you are heading into the new year with renewed hope.  Your holiday mum and dad are from very different backgrounds and upbringing but what brings us together with you are our values.  Via Holiday Mom, you are always welcome here virtually in our home! 

Love your holiday mum,

Lena 

Holiday Mom: Lisa W.

yhmlisawHey, Kid!

I’m so glad you’re here. I have been waiting for you, and everyone is so excited to see you!

We will try to keep the hugs from becoming anaconda squeezes, but no guarantees.

Maybe this year you don’t really feel welcome at home. Maybe you’re not welcome at all. Or only welcome if you don’t bring or talk about that special someone, or even the idea that there might be a special someone. Or only if you’re willing to hear people say bad things about gay marriage and gay people while staying silent yourself. Or maybe nobody really means to make you feel unwelcome, but you do, a little, anyway, just because spending the holidays marooned among The Straight People is like that sometimes, even when they love us, and even when we love them.

I have good news for you. You will, in your lifetime, sooner than even you might believe, experience a holiday of perfect welcome. A holiday where everyone is happy to see you. A holiday where everyone really knows you and is really enthusiastic about you exactly the way you are.

That day is so much closer than you think!

Until that time, I invite you to the holiday that exists inside this letter, and at this moment, inside your imagination and my imagination (anybody who doesn’t think that’s real can stop reading books, watching TV, movies, or using any item that began in someone’s imagination: we will bring them Christmas dinner in their cave).

Okay, first and very important: THE TREE. We might be a little overenthusiastic about the tree, but we’re not sure that’s a flaw. We got rainbow ornaments this year! It’s the best!

You’ll notice there aren’t many presents underneath it yet and I am SO GLAD you’re here, because I need a kid like you to help me wrap the presents in secret when the younger kids go to bed. Maybe you tape your fingers to each other on the regular, or maybe you are an origami wrapping ninja — it doesn’t matter. We need you on the front lines of Christmas cheer, kid! You showed up just in time to save the day! We can stay up late and I will tell you all the stupid stuff I got up to in high school. We can watch Christmas specials. Of course there will be hot chocolate!

Did I tell you I learned how to knit socks? Handmade socks are the bomb. I mean, if you haven’t worn a pair you just haven’t lived. It also means there are socks inside Christmas stockings!

Oh, but before I go on: You know there’s nothing wrong with you, right? That you’re perfect and awesome just the way you are? Just let that sink in a minute, because that’s important.

You might notice the handwritten list over there. No, this is not a list for Santa. This is a sign up schedule the kids made to play video games with you. That’s how excited they are to see you. They think you are absolutely the coolest person in three area codes.

We’re not big on turkey here. I mean, didn’t we just have one? Boring! Every year we have a chicken pot pie, and a wide array of Chinese steamed buns we got from the Super 88 market downtown.

Oops! It’s time to turn on the lights. Can you plug in that one over there? Thanks. We have those little candelabras in every window. We know they’re cheesy. We don’t care! We love it.

How did the driveway look when you came in? Do I need to shovel more? My girlfriend won’t show up until later, but I want to make sure there’s room for her car. You will not believe the baked goods this woman is bringing. I have long harbored suspicions that she has powers in the baked goods area that transcend the merely human.

Looks like the little kids are conked out, huh? It’s nice and quiet, I love that. Time for you and me to get to work and make the Christmas, kiddo. You ready? Good.

Welcome to Christmas, this year and every year —

Your holiday Ma
Lisa

Holiday Mom: Maggie

maggieDearest Holiday Child,

I’m so happy to welcome you into our home this holiday.   The holiday season is upon us and the world is beginning the hustle and bustle that usually comes with the season. Our house will be a little more low key than many. I hope you appreciate a place of quiet refuge where you are free to be yourself.

Today is a day of preparation. You can join in the activity, or sit quietly with a cup of warm tea and watch. I will be baking cookies (I hope you like peanut butter cookies fresh from the oven!) and peach muffins. Hopefully by the end of our day, there will be some left to put in the freezer for the coming days.

Others will visit today. They are friends of your Holiday Brother and all young people like you – but all feel at home here. I treat them as I treat you; you may lounge around, playing video games or listening to loud music. Just don’t complain if I dance! And beware that if I need something carried I will ask you to help out, just as I ask the others that are here.

Even as others come and go, the kitchen is always a place to sit and relax.   Video games may be blaring from the living room’s T.V. (why do the voices all sound so mechanical?). The crazy dogs bark every time a new young adult comes in or exits the house. The family room couch is occupied by two kids (to me they are kids) that I think are a couple but they aren’t talking to each other, or looking at each other. Both are on a laptop playing a game with friends in another state. Such is life in our home, but I see a smile on your face and know that you are enjoying yourself and feel like you fit right in.

I’m glad you are fitting in. I see you reaching down to pet Kain, one of the Boxers. I forgot to warn you that Karma, his sister, will get jealous and come drool on you! She seems to know it is a sure-fire way to get attention. Much like a toddler, she doesn’t care if it is “good” attention” or “not-so-good” attention! Both Kain and Karma just want to be the center of the action here.

As the night settles down, the others begin to leave. Stay awhile longer, snuggle under a fuzzy blanket on the couch with Kain at your side and have one more muffin. I will tell you a story to keep your heart warm. It is a story of the unconditional love of your Holiday Mom to you. It is the story of being welcomed with open arms into a bear hug. It is the story of knowing you are help up and strengthened by this love.

I love you Holiday Child.

Maggie, Your Holiday Mom

 

 

Holiday Mom: Kathy

kathyHappy Holidays my Holiday Child,

I feel so very blessed to connect with you and share in the spirit of the holidays. I hope that wherever you are, you are taking care of yourself and that you are safe, warm and finding some sense of peace. I want you to know that I am so very proud of your courage and strength. It can be a very difficult decision to open up about being LGBTQ – and even more difficult when we don’t feel accepted and loved by those closest to us. I want you to know that I accept you and I love you.

I would gladly wrap my arms around you and give you a giant bear hug. I would tell you that you are a unique and wonderful soul and that you are free to rejoice in all of the glorious gifts that make you – you. I know that it must be difficult at times to believe in these things, and that you face adversity and lack of acceptance on your journey. Well, I am here to tell you that you are beautiful, wonderful and completely welcome in my life. With me you are free to be your true and authentic self. You will suffer no judgment, no negativity and no hurt. You are magnificent and you will do wonderful things in this life.

Never be afraid to be your true self. I know it might not feel like it now, but in time you will find more people that will lift you up and celebrate the person that you are. They will look at you as I am now and see your loving heart and your tender smile. They will nurture and embrace you and want to share in your shining light. You are exactly who you are meant to be – never doubt that.

And so, during this holiday season, I raise my glass to you and I toast to your spirit and your strength. And I ask that if you feel scared or alone that you think of me and feel the warmth and glow of the love that I am sending your way. Happy holidays my sweet child. I love you.

Love Your Holiday Mom

Kathy

 

Your Holiday Mom: Heather

HEATHER HUDSON PICWinter with DogsMy Dear Holiday Child

I feel so blessed this year to have you with me to share our Christmas holiday. You are my first child – my first holiday child, I have been waiting for you for a very long time. I have so much to tell you, and so much love in my heart for you, I don’t know even where to start.
You are so beautiful. So perfect and wonderful. You are a beautiful unique shining light in my world. Thank you for sharing our Christmas with us. It makes it more special because you are here, .

The house is decorated. Paul always goes all out on the outside – there are lights, and lighted statues, and wreaths on almost every inch of the yard. This year he bought an antique lighted Santa at a yard sale. It is kitschy and cute, and has a place in the centre of the yard. Sometimes I expect him to bring home a leg lamp like the one from A Christmas Story – yes – he is that kind of guy!   I love to do the inside decorating. I have some decorations from when I was a child, and then every year I like to add one special piece to add to the house. One of my favourites is the fibre optic Santa, that sits in the dining room. I hope you like it too. It lights up in all colours of the rainbow. It the perfect Santa for this house – our Santa and our family welcomes all colours of the rainbow here. You are welcomed, loved and safe here.

Paul and I have a fabulous dinner prepared for you and any of your friends you bring. He will take care of the turkey. I love vegetables. All kinds of vegetables. We will have yams, and Brussel sprouts (I promise they are amazing when cooked with bacon!), carrots, and a big salad. I can’t eat any gluten, but there will be traditional stuffing for you. When I was little, we used to fight over the stuffing. I have to admit, most of the time, we would stand over the turkey and eat the stuffing as it was coming out of the turkey. It’s funny how some of our best memories are around the food of the holiday. I hope that you have a new happy memory from our Christmas dinner.

My brother started a funny holiday tradition when we were younger adults.   He owned a video store for years, and every Christmas he would bring an ACTION ADVENTURE movie for us to all watch together after dinner. You know how sometimes after a big meal, you just want to sleep. Well his thought was an action movie would keep us awake. This year you can choose the movie. I love finding a comfy spot to curl up and watch the movie with my family close by. I hope you pick the spot on the couch next to me. You might chose a spot on a cushion so the dogs can snuggle in close to you. Speaking of the fur family, we do include them in our holiday traditions. The dogs and the cat always get their own stockings (we have yours hanging on the fireplace mantle too). We also have special Christmas dog collars for both the girls that they wear during the holiday season.

We might play a game after the movie is over. My family is notoriously competitive. It is completely genetic, and I have seen it in my siblings, and my nieces and nephews. We all love to win. It can make for some pretty boisterous games of Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit. Join in and be ready for a lot of fun. You can be on Paul’s or my team – he is better at Pictionary. And if it is Trivial Pursuit, you have to watch out for my brother John – he has more useless bits of trivia in his head than should be possible. If we team up for Trivial Pursuit, choose his team!

I went on a walking holiday in the fall to Spain. It was a pilgrimage of sorts. A place to go and find quiet and just be myself. I walked 350 kilometres over 17 days. Every day the only thing I had to do that day was walk. And on all of those days, I had to be with myself. Just myself. It was hard and it was beautiful and I learned a number of lessons that I hope I will never forget. One of them is just keep moving forward. There will be days when the hardships seem overwhelming, when you think you can’t do it. Just take another step. Just one more step. That step may be the one that brings you back into the sunshine. It may be the one that carries you to joy, or to peace, or it may just be the one that carries you to a comfortable bed for the night (you always have that here you know that right?). The other thing I learned is that life if precious, we are precious. The best thing we can do is treat every day as magical and special. Even the days that aren’t. That’s hard to do sometimes. Know that I am always here to help you see the good in every day. Somedays it just has to be that one thing. I had one day when I was walking, that I was ready to quit. I had already walked 150 kilometers, and I just thought I was being stupid, and wasting my time. And I really, really, just wanted to quit. But I talked to Paul (we used Messenger) and you know what, he just listened – he listened and he encouraged me – and I felt a bit better – so the next morning I got up and I started to walk again. I know that this sounds silly, because I chose to go on this walk. But you know what – I needed to go on the walk – and I needed to be in the quiet and just with myself and my thoughts. And from that I came home knowing that I am special and I am deserving of love and happiness. We all are. You are. You are so deserving of love and happiness.

Know that you are loved and welcome here. If there is anything I can do to make your Christmas the most special ever, I will do it. I know that Christmas can be a lonely time, and even if we are just a small tribe this year, we will be a mighty tribe. We want to fill the day with love and laughter. I said at the beginning I don’t know much about being a mother, but I have love and understanding, and I have a warm safe home for you to enjoy this Christmas.

Thank you for joining us. Thank you for letting me shine some love on you. Thank you for being the very special and beautiful you.

All my love

 

Holiday Mom Heather