Your Holiday Mom: Momma Chevy

Hello my sweet child,

I want to share some of my most favorite Christmas traditions.

We all get together as a family and do a gift exchange. There are three things you can choose from PJ’s, slippers or a blanket. I always choose PJ’s. (Who doesn’t like a nice pair of PJ’s!!) Most of the time we get very silly things for each other. We also do a cookie bake. We all get together and bring the cookies we have baked and trade. Momma B and I love to make truffles and sugar cookies. What is your favorite? My sister-in-law makes a taffy bar that I love!!

Another Christmas tradition I love is that I write Santa letters to all the kids in my life. Here is yours!!

I am so excited to write to you this year! I have been watching you and you are so AMAZING!! The strength you show everyday being the truest you only you can be. It is not always easy being who we really are, but you have shown me just how strong someone can really be. I know there have been difficulties. I have seen them. I have also seen you stand tall. Even when you do not know it, someone is watching you. Seeing you be brave. I am sending you a special gift this year. Love!! All the love that I have in me. All the magic that Christmas brings I am sending to you.

Merry Christmas,

Santa

This is my favorite time of year. It is a time of magic and wonder. Know that Momma B and me are here thinking about you and wrapping our arms around you tight. You are so loved my sweet child. Everything about you. Right down to your mismatched socks. Papa and Grandma M send their love. Your sisters send their love as well. I know the girls (that is what we call the cats) would love to curl up in your lap and get a lot of loves. The picture is Nan. She would know just how much you needed some love and oh, how she can give loves.

Know there will be a place set at the table for you. There is nothing but love and light at our home for you!!

With the New Year, I hope you find yourself in a place of peace and joy. You will be in my thought and I cannot wait to write to you next year.

I love you oh so much,

Momma Chevy

Your Holiday Mom: Mama Aly

Bright Solstice Wishes, My Darling One!

Oh, darling, it’s so good to see you. What? No, I’m not sniffly; I’m just so happy to have you here! You know me — I feel all my feelings Big, including the love I have for you. Thank you for coming to visit us this year!

Are you happy, my Holiday Child? That’s all we want in life for you. There is nothing you could say to us that would make us not love you. And, like a lot of parents, there’s probably some things that we’ve guessed about that you think are a big deal and we think are none of our business until you decide to tell us in your own way and time. Go ahead and take your time; we’ll still be here, loving you, no matter what. Sometimes the worrying stuff can be too big of a weight on our hearts. If you’re wanting to talk and having trouble, let’s celebrate what’s good together and let that lift us!

I finally knit my Pride yarn up into a nice scarf for myself. I made it lacey enough that I’ll be able to wear it on the cooler days in June. (That’s when Pride month is, around here.) When we celebrate Pride, we also celebrate all our loved ones, including you, my dear Holiday Child. We celebrate how far we’ve come, we bolster ourselves for how far we have yet to go, we reaffirm that love is love, and we rejoice in how connected we all really are (even when it seems that we’re oh-so-different). This last Pride month, as Holiday Dad was pointing out a particularly unexpected-and-happy rainbow flag, Kiddo (who has grown about a foot, I’m serious!) asked, “Why does Dad do that? Why do you like rainbows so much, Mom?” I told him, “They’re beautiful. But more than that, did you know that rainbows — those beautiful things — come out after the worst, most frightening storms? That if you’re brave enough to go out, and look towards the light, you might see a rainbow? *That’s* why I love rainbows. Well, and all the cool science, of course.” I had to add that last; Kiddo knows what a science nerd I am!

I’m so proud of you, my brave, loving Holiday Child. Don’t ever give up, darling, even when the storm is the most frightening thing ever. Look toward the light with me. Maybe we’ll see a rainbow together!

Wishing you Love and Light,

Mama Aly

Your Holiday Mom: Mama Vicki

Christmas 2016. Left to right: Vicki, Julia, Bard. (Videogame playing teenager not pictured 🙂 )

My sweet holiday child,

We are all so thrilled that you’re here. I love the energy of a full house, and these dozens of cookies that Grandma Lilli sent aren’t all going to eat themselves. I’ve got the room at the top of the stairs made up for you so you can have your privacy when you need it. (And yes, I put the Star Trek sheets on.)

Your brother’s been looking out the window all afternoon. He can’t wait for you to go join him over at the Xbox. Apparently, I “suck at coop platformers”, and he needs you to help him get to the next levels. Go ahead. You can unpack later. Mom Julia’s been keeping track of all of your favorite shows on the TiVo, too, so feel free to zone out and binge watch. I’m sure she’ll join you. Though if you feel like being helpful, Dad’s making seafood gumbo in the kitchen for dinner, and I’m sure they’d be happy for the roux-stirring company while they hear what you’ve been up to.

Eureka the calico cat’s ready to flop next to you on the couch, snore her squeaky snore, and accept infinite pettings. Geist the black cat’s kind of annoyed that the Halloween posing season is over, but if you’ve brought your camera, she’ll still deign to sit prettily in front of the fireplace for you. Especially if you bring that little bag of treats from the kitchen counter. And if you’re not feeling too old to cuddle your mom, I’ll join you on the couch too. (Hint: You’re never actually too old to cuddle your mom.)

I hope you brought your glitter and witchy finery, because we’re going to head upstate for the annual Yule ritual. We’re going to admire the big tree, and light our candles in circle together, speaking our hopeful wishes for the world aloud, sending positive energy out to fight all of the hate and brokenness. Then it’s time to eat, and I hope you’re hungry, because even though our hostesses tell people not to bring anything beyond what they’ve made, we always do. We can’t help it. It’s just not a good gathering without sesame noodles from our house and something sweet made from our beehive honey. Then we’ll each pick a gift from under the tree, and even though it’s technically random, there’s magic here, and somehow what each person receives seems to just the thing they need right then. I wonder what will choose you.

It’s hard to feel like the different one, like you’ve always got to explain yourself when you’re still working on understanding yourself. I wish I could protect you, and all of the LGBTQ youth out there, from all of the things in the media and in daily life that make you feel anything less than perfect, and beautiful, and loved. I want you to be fierce, to make the world a better place just by existing. But mostly, I want to wrap you up in the love of people who don’t make you work at all hard to express your own self, to cocoon you in our queer poly family until you’re ready to go out there and be brave again. As you get older and have more choices of where to be and what to do, I have faith that you will find your tribe and that you will love them with all of your heart. Until then, I’m so happy you can let us be your safe place. The door’s open, whenever you like.

–Mama Vicki (with Mom Julia, Dad Bard and your not-so-little anymore bro)

Your Holiday Mom: Mom Silvara

Hello dearest holiday child! I am so very happy you are here with us this year! This year is extra special because I have crocheted a blanket for everyone in the family. And that most definitely includes you! It’s waiting under the tree (though I don’t mind if you open it early!) and has all of your favorite colors worked into it.

If you like cats, we have 2 that would love to spend time with you. Sarah is a white long haired cat who loves attention and cuddles. Miles is a dilute tortie who is polydactyl (she has extra toes on each paw so she looks like she’s wearing mittens!), and she knows all the dog tricks. She LOVES to play fetch with anyone who will throw a toy for her. They will most likely sleep on your bed with you, unless you’d rather close them out because of allergies.

Beware of leaving anything red laying around. Miles is a total thief and her favorite color is red. One year when she was a bit over a year old, I woke up to find that she had scaled the Christmas tree and stolen every red ornament that was on it! None of the rest were touched, and she had piled them all up in her cat bed. Siamese are so naughty sometimes! *laughs*

We are totally informal in our house. I celebrate Yule, but love giving presents so have incorporated that into our holiday tradition. My Dad celebrates Christmas, but we welcome all traditions or none. It’s usually just the two of us for the holidays, we visit family on New Year’s Day, but Christmas is just for us, and now you! We’re pretty relaxed around this time of year. There will be Christmas music playing softly in the background (I usually sneak in some Twisted Christmas Carol’s when Dad’s not looking!), lots of movies to watch and books to read. My library alone is 9 floor to ceiling book cases, and Dad has at least that many of his own. So if you like to read, I’m sure between us we’ll have a book for you!

Dad’s a tea addict, so there are at least 30 different kinds if you like tea. We also keep hot chocolate and spiced cider stocked. For dinner, there will be a spiral ham with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls, and green bean casserole. For dessert, Dad always makes his carrot cake cookies, and we also have pecan pie, ice cream, and a wide variety of Christmas cookies.

Breakfast will be cinnamon rolls made from scratch. Pancakes and waffles, omelettes and sticky pecan rolls. We don’t expect you to eat all of it! *laughs* If you’d rather have something lighter, there is oatmeal and fresh fruit on hand as well.

Presents are opened whenever we wish. Some years we do it on Christmas Eve, some years it’s Christmas morning. And occasionally I just can’t wait to see what people think of what I’ve gotten them, and I make them open theirs as soon as they’re settled in the family room with something to drink and eat! This year MAY end up being one of those years… *grins*

I put out the final touches just before you arrived. I am thrilled you are here with us! But please remember, though I am your Holiday Mom, my love is never limited only to the holidays. I love you and think about you every second of the day, 365 days a year. I wish you days filled with fun and laughter, all the bright and wonderful things that remind me of you. Because YOU are bright and wonderful too. I am blessed to have you in my life, and you make me so proud to know you. You are strong, you WILL get through whatever life gives you, and at the end of the day I and everyone else who loves you will be there to cheer you on.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.

Mom Silvara

Your Holiday Mom: Sister Bethany

Hey honey! Take off your coat, its freezing out there! How have you been? Good? Not so good? Well if so just kick your feet up and remember to put one foot in front of the other. I myself have been better, but the holidays have always made it sparkle. During this season, my family and I always bake over a thousand sugar cookies. And decorate them all, give them to neighbors, friends, family. It was so fun last year; we had just moved into a house with the tiniest kitchen you have ever seen! Try making cookies in a one butt kitchen, it is very difficult. As I go off on a rant about baking our corgi jumps its tiny paws onto your leg smiling. The blue collar says ‘toast’ in glitter, jingling in her excitement. Putting your things down we make our way to the velvet couch you snagged at the yard sale we went to this summer.

We make pumpkin pie during thanksgiving and pecan pie. Pecan is always my mom’s favorite. Do you have a favorite pie? Maybe we will make it this year for you. This year we already set up a room for you in the back, technically it’s our roommate Raens room (said like Rain). But they are out with their family for the holidays. Your room is filled with the light sent of pine and cinnamon when we open the door. Giant quilts my mom has made to keep you warm. They are fuzzy and sometimes tickle your nose while we watch Christmas movies. I myself am not really religious, but I love the Christmas and the music and movies. I have planned that we watch all those stop animation movies from the 60s and 70s. My pride flag hangs behind my TV and coco is being made in the kettle.

This year I hope this to be our safe haven from the winter outside. Just us two, and our dog toast; maybe I will be able to finally find my Julie Andrews Christmas record. We will sit in the living room, warm and happy. I know it is very hard to enjoy the holidays when bad things are happening all the time on the second. But I am here and we have literally all night. And our microwave would be happy to reheat our coco if we get busy talking. I still haven’t really come out to my dad or family, but having you here it reminds me that it is ok. You should know that too. As someone in that situation with one foot in the door; I can tell you that’s all is required of you. You trying your best to live your life as you see fit. You representing yourself the way in whatever beautiful expression that is.

So try and sleep enough, drink water, eat something today.

Your Holiday Sister Bethany

Your Holiday Mom: Mom Sara

Dear Holiday Child,

Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. I know 2017 has been a rough year for many of us, but there have also been moments of hope and strength. The holidays of Hannukah and Christmas, which my family celebrate, are a time to create light, warmth and joy in the darkness. They are a time for friendship, for love, and for generosity. And you ARE loved, I want you to know that – in my home you are welcomed and celebrated for who you are. You’re exactly who we want to spend these holidays with!

So now that you’re here, we’ll start by putting the finishing decorations on the huge tree we’ve set up in the dining room. Can you pick out your favorite ornament and hang it right there in the middle, where everyone can see it? Then we’ll add a lot of tinsel so the whole tree sparkles and shines when we turn on the colorful string of lights. We’re still a week away from Christmas which means it’s still Hannukah, so we’ll also light our menorah.

While you were finishing up those decorations, I started warming some spiced apple cider on the stove. Yum! I can also make you hot chocolate with marshmallows and peppermint sticks. I’ve got the holiday music playing, everything from classic carols sung by Bill Crosby to the soundtrack for the Muppets Family Christmas. All of these songs remind me of the importance of sharing love and kindness not just during the holidays but throughout the year. I hope you don’t mind listening to my bad singing!

We’ll roll out the sugar cookie dough I made earlier and cut it into fun shapes before decorating with colorful sprinkles. I made them vegan and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy them! Once they’re done we’ll add some festive icing. Everyone gets a chance to decorate their own cookie just the way they like it.

Our friends, your honorary aunts and uncles, are arriving for a night of board games and food, a delicious potluck everyone’s contributed to – sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread stuffing, and apple pie are just some of the food we’ll be enjoying. Everyone is just so glad you could join us for a night of silliness and good-natured competition.

At the end of the night when everyone’s gone home, you and I will curl up under our blankets to talk. I want you to tell me about your life, about your hopes and dreams, your goals for 2018 and your reflections on 2017. I want to know what makes you shine. I want to know who you love.

My wish for you in 2018 is that you know love, that you experience moments of beauty and that you hold on to the hope that things will always be better.

Your holiday mom, Sara

Your Holiday Mom: Mamma Donna

Hello, my darling.  I know you didn’t want to get out of bed for most of this year (neither did I), but you did and I am so proud of you for doing so.  Trust.  It was hard, but we both made it through – and that’s saying something.  Here’s to us!

We’re still here, that hasn’t changed and we’re still as fabulous as we were before.  Heartsick, weary and battered, sure.  But we endure and that’s what matters.

I am so proud of you, no matter what.  You’re here, and that’s amazing.  Nothing could ever replace the you-shaped space you make in this world, and your very presence is all the gift I could ever ask for.  That’s the biggest thing you could ever give me – more You.  Tuck it away someplace, drag it out when the haters get you down.  My mother gave that to me when I was your age – it’s served me well.

We’re going to open the house up again on Christmas Eve, just like I did with my late husband did with his family growing up.  His father had worked with a number of people who had defected from their home countries after WWII and had no way to return home for the holidays.  Being Swiss, he had thought this nonsense and had simply brought everyone home with him.

We open the doors to everybody, we don’t care who comes in.  Can you smell the candles burning?  Or the cookies baking?  I always try to bake at least one batch during the day so anyone coming over can have some warm out of the oven (and they make the house smell incredible).  I’ve started finding and wrapping little presents, nothing big – but it wouldn’t be the holidays without a little something-something, so I’ve started looking into the sales and dollar stores for things I can give away.  The little towels that expand out when you get them wet are my favorites!

We always watch a lot of television, play frisbee and eat too much junk food too.  Oh well.

My wish for you is the same now, as it always has been.  I wish for you a beautiful life, my holiday child.  You mean so much to us, now and forever, I wish I could say with mere words.  However it comes down, know you are loved for who you are.  That never changes.

May you find some magic, and sweep up some luck from the sidewalks.

Love Always,

Mamma Donna

Your Holiday Mom: HolliMama

Dear Holiday Child,

I can hardly believe the Christmas turkey has been ordered, and I am hoping I can get everyone together for a picture for our holiday card. I am imagining you with us. You and your brothers and sister-in-law will be trying not to laugh at some joke while I take a million pictures. Of course, this year we also have your baby niece in the photo with you, which means two new blessings.

As this Mama gets older, I fuss less about the state of my kitchen floor, whether the front-door wreath is decorated, or if the kitten has rolled tree ornaments down the hallway.  Instead, I want to focus on visiting with my children, and relaxing in front of the fire.  When you and I sit on the yellow couch, with our legs stretched toward each other and three cats draped across us (the black lab has his new bone on the floor so he is happy too,) what will we say?  I hope you will tell me about your hard times as well as the good.  I hope you tell me what frightens and what delights you.  And most of all, I hope you tell me about your dreams.  Then I can share how proud I am of you; how I see who you are now—creative, intelligent, determined, and full of light.  I can also see the adult you are becoming, and it fills me with happiness. You will work passionately toward goals that are important to you. You will be comfortable in your own skin, and thoughtful and welcoming of others who seem a bit lost or have been hurt by the world.  You will love and be loved.  This future may be difficult for you to see right now.  I know it is not always easy being you.  Please remember that this family admires and respects all you do to be your best true self.

When we fall silent and become mesmerized by the tree, full of years worth of child-made ornaments, I will tell you about your Dad’s and my first Christmas together.  He wanted large, white tree lights that didn’t blink.  I wanted small, multi-colored lights that flashed all at different times.  So we blended our traditions and have swaged strands of small, multicolored lights (non-blinking!) each year.  When you have your own home, I wonder what you will choose?  Will you and your future love start your own traditions?  I cannot wait to see.

This season, and every other, you are in my heart.  I will forever send you thoughts of love, comfort, confidence and joy.  You are special, not just to me, but to all of us.  Be safe.  Be you.

I love you, my wonderful Holiday Child.

Love,

HolliMama

Your Holiday Mom: Mom Ricki

Mama Ricki here again. Been thinking about you this year – what a year! Talk about your ups and downs. We watched this country go through some intense moments. And I get the feeling that you went through some intense moments too.

My daughter and I are preparing to light the Hannukah Menorah for all eight nights of Hannukah this year, and to send you our wishes each and every night of Hannukah. But here’s a secret – they’re not wishes at all – they’re reminders of the strength and beauty that is inside of you.

First – a quick introduction to my daughter, who introduced me to this website in the first place (thank you Sarah!). Sarah came out to me when she was 14.

Was I surprised? Not really. Was my reaction perfectly accepting? I hope so! I told her that I didn’t really care who she loved, as long as that person saw her as a special and beautiful person, and treated her with respect and kindness. Love and acceptance. Kindness.

Before Hannukah starts, we’ll do our holiday shopping – always scarves and mittens for her! (You too, right? The fuzzy ones?) This year we lost our beloved cat, and I already picked out the kitty socks and mittens for her first night of Hannukah gift.

Here are my Hannukah wishes for you. You don’t have to be Jewish! (Another secret: I am not the least bit religious. I believe in kindness first and foremost.)

  • I wish that you always remember that you are beautiful, and special, and unique.
  • I wish you that you always remember that you will feel happy, and confident one day – even if that day feels a million miles away.
  • I wish that you paint a happy picture in your mind of how your life could be. Where would that be? What would your room look like in that picture?
  • I wish that you find a safe place right now where you can be you. Either in a support group, or even if it’s in your room with your “happy” song playing.
  • I wish that you could see what I see. That a hard time now is JUST A CHAPTER in the book. It’s NOT the entire book. This I promise.
  • Happiness always comes to me when I give a smile and a compliment to someone else. Try it!
  • Don’t discount the power of a well-earned hot chocolate. Or any chocolate for that matter.
  • Above all, I wish you peace inside yourself. You are a beautiful soul.

I would love to hear from you in the comments, and promise to write back.

I am thinking of you and sending so much love, so much support.

You are NEVER alone!

With love, strength – and all those mom hugs,

Ricki

Your Holiday Mom: Titi Rommy

Dear Holiday Child,

Welcome to the holiday season at out quirky home. Thanksgiving might be the most “typical” looking out of all the ones we celebrate, but take a look around. Our family looks like a gathering at the UN. We have lots of different traditions we like to participate in. Maybe you can tell me about some of your favorite traditions as we help ourselves to seconds (or thirds!) of my sister-in-law’s amazing pumpkin pie?

We don’t really do much the day after Thanksgiving other than getting over our turkey comas, but if you like to go shopping, maybe we can head out to town and see what kind of treasures we can find there. I like walking through our small town, hunting for perfect gifts. You can pick out where we’ll stop for lunch. I’m an adventurous eater, so I’ll be game for whatever it is you’d like to try. If holiday crowds aren’t your thing, we can always e-shop in our pjs, wearing fuzzy slippers and drinking the seasonal beverage of your choice. I’m definitely a tea woman, and would be happy to take you through a tour of my over-stuffed tea cabinet.

Chanukah, which my husband and kids celebrate, isn’t too early this year, but we definitely need to get decorating and present shopping done early. Also, when you are at our house, you have to do the Hanukkah dance. It’s one of my husband’s favorite things, next to all the fried food we eat in honor of the holiday. Popeye’s chicken may not be traditional, but I sure enjoy having it!

Solstice is the holiday I celebrate. Maybe you are familiar with it? If not, that’s OK. I’ll be lighting a fire in our fireplace and we’ll have a little cookout over the hearth. Do you like s’mores? My husband and kids like getting fancy and varying things up with Nutella, peanut butter and other spreads. Feel free to be inventive with them. Also feel free to toast the sun with me as it sets. I won’t make you get up early the next day when it rises, unless you want to.

You’ll probably get to know the family corgi, Kit, pretty well too. He loves belly rubs, snuggles and table scraps. He’s a rescue and sometimes gets nervous if he thinks he’s being left out of family gatherings (he is very mystified by my husband’s Hanukkah dance), but the truth is no one gets left out of our family. Not ever. The same goes for you. I know you may have had some rough times, but just know there are people who care out there. They want to know if you love crowds or quiet. They want to see you relax over the perfect cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. They want to know about any weird or off-beat ways you like to celebrate the holidays. Because who you are matters. Please never forget that.

I hope you had a nice time at our holidays. Stay warm, and keep your head up. I’ll be rooting for you.

Abrazos y besitos,

Titi Rommy