Your Holiday Mom: Andrea

andrea perry pic

To listen to Andi reading your letter, click here.

My dear darling adopted holiday child,

This holiday season you may find yourself surrounded by people who don’t quite understand you. I would like to invite you into a warm and loving space, where you can feel free to be whoever it is you truly are.  Where you will feel loved and supported.  A place that you can come and stay and leave, but come to when you are ready.  I would like you to feel at home.

The holidays, for me, aren’t about how much money you spend on someone.  It is about spending your most valuable currency – time.  About sharing things that make a memory, and I have that here for you.  I hope this letter serves as a warm lantern along the path of your life, and I pray that when you hear me you’ll know you can visit this memory for years to come.  You are miraculous for just being.  I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of you for waking up and choosing to continue your fight.  My support and dedication to you will never waver.

I hope this year you find yourself in a community filled with love and I hope you remember my words to you.  My gift to you this year is total acceptance, no matter what category you identify with most, know that if it keeps you healthy and happy you will always have me by your side.

All of my love this holiday season
Momma Andi

Your Holiday Mom: Karma

karmaTo My Dear  Holiday Child,

I wanted to let you know how proud I am of you.  It is not an easy to tell your family your sexual orientation.  I am so sorry to hear that your family doesn’t accept you for who you are.  They should be proud of you for knowing who you are.

When I was a teenager, my neighbours were lesbians.  A lot of my friends would comment on how it was against their religion but my family always taught me that it didn’t matter what your skin colour was or your sexual orientation all that mattered was what kind of person you were inside.  I was very impressionable at that age and I became further and further indoctrinated by their religion.  I began to question my family’s beliefs.  My neighbours were out gardening and they asked me if I would like to help them.  We spent six hours together talking and gardening.  I saw that they were people too and that it didn’t matter who they loved they were good people.  That’s all that mattered.  After that day I began to question the church.  Church leaders couldn’t come up with answers for me.  They couldn’t give me a good reason as to why their god wouldn’t love everyone and wouldn’t judge.   At that point it was clear I had to be who I am.  I can’t change how I feel and what they believed differed from what I believed.  You should never feel that you have to change who you are because it differs from others. 

All members of my immediate family are strong advocates for the LGBTQ community.  My dad was a high school teacher and saw a lot of students being bullied because they were ‘gay.’  He is now an author and his main character is ‘gay.’  He wanted to show how we are all people who just want to be loved and accepted.

My own children are four and six.  They have asked us on numerous occasions if two girls or two boys can kiss.  We always reply, “of course they can.  It doesn’t matter.”  These are our beliefs and I want my children to grow up being accepting of all people.  I want you to know that there are families out there who accept you and who welcome you with loving arms.  You are not alone.

Christmas Eve would start with a day at the slopes snowboarding.  In the evening we would each open one gift.  My kids would put out home made Star Wars shortbread cookies for Santa and a glass of milk.  Then we would head outside with little bags full of oats and sparkly glitter so the reindeer could see where our house was and have a little snack while they are waiting for Santa.

Christmas morning would start bright and early and the smell of cinnamon buns would spread through the house.  Our children would open their gifts and stockings.  They would head to the table to see Santa’s letter he left them.  We would play new board games received and enjoy a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes and fresh fruit.  If you were to come to my house, my parent’s house or my brother’s house for Christmas dinner, you would smell the turkey roasting in the oven.  There would be roast potatoes, bacon wrapped sausages, fresh bread and many desserts to choose from.  Presents would be opened, coffee would be brewed and conversation would go on from the time you walked in through the door till the time you left.  After dinner, we would head to the local ice rink or take the dog for a walk to wear off some of the food. During this holiday season please know that we will be thinking about you and know that you are loved, valued and appreciated.

 With love,

 Your holiday mom & family

Something Extra For You This Holiday!

400x420 copyDear Holiday Child:

This note is from your Shamama, the creator of this site and the voice behind our video. This year, I’ve created something special for you and anyone who would love to take one minute to find comfort, love, encouragement and calming. My 50 One-Minute Meditation App has me speaking directly to you, offering support. It JUST launched today… I hope you enjoy!

With Love, Shamama

Click HERE for Apple!

Click HERE for Android!

Don’t use apps? No worries, visit to find the website version!

Meditation Topics Include:

let it go + quiet the inner critic + center after an upset + release worry + surrender to what is + find inner peace + calm fight or flight + stop doing, start being + cool down anger + slow racing thoughts + ground to the earth+ stream of gratitude + cleanse in rain + harness the power of wind + call forth your true self + call up your inner warrior + realign with your purpose + gather your courage + indulge in self-care + honor your gut truth + allow your vision to guide + be who you are + honor your gifts and talents + melt blocks and resistances + release memories that haunt + soothe your weary soul + restore after burnout + release guilt + hold another in light and love + breathe through pain + move beyond disappointment + listen to your body + connect to higher self + open to magic and synchronicity + tune into your intuition + heart centered awareness + cultivate compassion + call upon inner wisdom + a moment of pure grace + forgive yourself + forgive others + invite in the new + pat on the back from Robin + accepting your true self + open to creativity + prepare your mind to learn + let your inner beauty shine + cultivate true wealth + calming fears for parents + release a nightmare + be okay with being different

Plus Three Bonus Wordless Audios: wordless fire + wordless ocean + wordless wind

This entry was posted in Extras.

Your Holiday Mom: Shannon

Shannon Wilcox photo

Click here to listen to Shannon reading her letter to you.

My dear child,

Though I have not had the chance to physically hug you or look into your eyes to tell you how loved you are, and how wonderful you are, please feel that – through my words.

I am so hopeful that this coming new year brings you more love, comfort and peace than you have felt ever. I hope you look in the mirror and know you are enough. You are perfectly imperfect, the exact version of you that you are meant to be. In this very moment trust you are more loved than you even know.

I hope that this Christmas you know that at our house we are thinking of you. I want you to be warm and safe this holiday. The mom in me can’t help but remind you to keep dressed for the weather, but more importantly keep your heart warm. Have a cup of hot chocolate, read something you love, watch something that makes you laugh, feed your spirit.

My child, this Christmas I want you to know you belong. You are the best gift a family could ask for. I am going to go make myself some tea, look at the stars and hope when you need some extra love and comfort, you will look to the stars and know we are looking at the same sky, no matter where we are. Those stars represent the love that surrounds you, the future that embraces you and the present that wants to comfort you.

Go to bed tonight knowing I love you.

Sending you the biggest hug,

Your holiday Mom xo

Your Holiday Mom: Elizabeth

Elizabeth casparian picDearest Holiday Child,

I am such a complete sentimental bundle of emotions at the holidays and so as soon as Thanksgiving ends, I am all about letting the people around me know how much I love them and how very much I am looking forward to celebrating with them this holiday season and YOU are not gonna get away without having to tolerate all my gushy, mushy emotions!

We have always had ‘extra’ people around our table during the holidays -sometimes because they cannot get home for the holidays, or they have no place to go. I have three children – one gay son who is 24, one straight son who is 22 and one queer daughter who is 18. I cannot imagine how hard it would be for them not to have a loving, welcoming, accepting, and joyous place to be at the holidays – so if you want to be in our warm, boisterous, loud and food-filled home, please join us! Our kids keep coming back and bringing their friends, so we feel we are doing something right! YOU will fit right in and will be laughing along with us right away.

We will decorate our tree on my birthday, which is December 11 – I’ll be 52. Our eldest and his boyfriend will join us – there is nothing like having two very dapper gay men (both of whom work in retail!) to help with decorating – ha ha – they know I’m kidding, but they are both better at untangling the lights than anyone else. Typically we will order take out and sit next to the tree when it is all done. This year, I am going to bake my own cake – mostly because it is really the only cake I want to eat. Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate and a family recipe.

Our middle son will join us after his college exams are over. He loves to bring home other kids (two for Thanksgiving) and he also loves to cook – mostly meat – such a carnivore. He will sleep alot over the three weeks he is home and have a ton of friends over and they will stay up too late at night. We will all play Cards Against Humanity together. The kids like that their Dad and I have somewhat dirty minds and do not get offended by this great game! Have you played? Hard to describe, but “Bees?” and “Assless Chaps” are my favorite cards. I suggest to get a group of friends together and play sometime.

We have a ton of family coming to celebrate Christmas with us too. I am so grateful that everyone is loving and accepting of all of our kids – although my daughter has not come out to her grand parents yet….it took them some time to completely accept our older son, so she just wants to wait. It is a little hard when my mother-in-law wants to know what kind of guy she is interested in – but she also keeps trying to buy my great, smart daughter cashmere sweater sets, and , trust me, that’s not happening either. My kids are just who they are, and because we love, adore, respect, admire and support them as such – the rest of the family learns to do so as well.

We all love to EAT and have many holiday traditions around food. Everyone is required to help cook and/or tidy up. We make chex mix and buttercrunch toffee as gifts and we make all kinds of special foods for dinner – always meat – not many vegetarians in this house – but so many vegetable side dishes and desserts that no one has EVER gone hungry.

We also have dogs – two big ones. They love everyone and will out their big, soft heads in the lap of anyone who needs a little extra comfort. Dogs’ ears are therapeutic!

I am sending you love and hugs because you are special and valued.


Your Holiday Mom, Elizabeth

Your Holiday Mom: Mandy

Christmas leftovers Jeff S.Dear Holiday Child,

How happy I am that you can join us for Christmas. Whether or not this is what you celebrate personally, we are glad to have you join in our celebration with us.

Our family celebration begins two weeks Christmas — we have a decorated tree in our living room, which you would have been invited over to help us decorate two weeks prior. Decorating the tree together is very important to us — we missed decorating it last year because I was ill, so this year will be a happy event for us. During the tree decoration, we snack together on gluten-free bread and hearty stew. I make bean-and-bacon soups or a beef-based stew with root vegetables, a little sriracha, and spices from our front-yard garden. I love making bread in my breadmaker, and steep rosemary in the oil for the bread so that the whole house smells of rosemary while we decorate. My son is fourteen and knows the story of every ornament on our tree — from the childhood ornaments that belong to my husband to the ornaments that we bought to commemorate the big events in our lives, or those gifted to us by friends and family. Last year’s present was a Doctor Who ornament, and a Minnesota Vikings one given by my mother. Decorating the tree is the first time we play Christmas music; we’ll put a Christmas mix station on and talk about the best things that happened to us during the past year. We are all very grateful for our lives and for your company and so we use decorating the tree as a time to talk about the best parts of the last year and how we can make next year even better. We have two big, black, peaceful dogs who will wander around and sniff hands, beg for crumbs, and snuggle with anyone who sits down — they are rescues and have so much love to give!

The night before Christmas, we take the dogs to the kennel in the morning, because we’ll be driving up to my mother’s house once work is over. We have a small dinner at our house around 3 pm, then pack up our car and drive up to the mountains where my parents live on 2 acres of mountainous forest in Pennsylvania. The house is small, snug, and smells of the wood stove that my parents use for their heat. My mom and dad make a cheese ball with gluten-free crackers and we eat this together while putting our presents under the tree and saying our hellos. My sister will have come up from the South with her tiny orange dog, and my other sister and her husband will drive out at some point during the evening. Some of us will go to the evening service at my parents’ small Methodist church — no one is obligated to go, but everyone is welcomed warmly there. My parents have been attending there for 25 years, and everyone there knows everyone by name and is warm and kind.

If you choose not to go to services, some of us stay home, and we usually play board games — Settlers of Catan, Trivial Pursuit, and Ticket to Ride are favorites — or watch movies in the basement, near the wood stove, so we’re nice and warm. Somewhere around midnight, everyone winds down and goes to bed, all bundled up warm as the house will get chilly over the night as the fire dies down!

In the morning, everyone gets up, takes their time getting coffee and getting dressed while my dad builds up the wood stove again. Be sure you have your warm and comfy socks because the floor is cold until the house warms up. My mom makes pull-apart bread with cinnamon and there is regular and decaf coffee. Once everyone has their coffee and is “picture ready,” we all go and sit down in the living room to open up presents. We do a round-robin so not everyone is responsible for buying for everyone — though the sole grandkid does get a little spoiled, and so you’d get to share in that, as a second grandkid! We have a tendency to buy practical presents for each other, nice things we would not buy for ourselves. Last year I got a coat that I never would have spent so much on myself — but I will wear it for the next twenty years. The price of the presents isn’t what’s important — it’s the thought we put into each one — but we do like spoiling each other a little in the way we wouldn’t spoil ourselves. I look forward to knowing what you’d like to have for yourself that you can’t bring yourself to spend the money on, and helping you enjoy that.

After the presents are opened and the wrapping paper cleaned up, we tend to relax and snack — pull-apart bread and cheeseball! — until dinnertime somewhere around 4 PM. My mother makes a huge turkey with gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls… my brother-in-law makes several vegan options including home-made dressing for his salads, and at the end, my mother’s famous dark chocolate fudge with walnuts, peanut-butter oatmeal fudge, and at least three different kinds of pies including pumpkin, apple, and some sort of cheesecake. We take our time eating and spend a lot of time talking. Usually my sister’s dog will wander around our feet, pretending she’s not begging.

At the end of dinner, everyone helps to clean up, clearing away the dishes, helping wash by hand what can’t go into the dishwasher, and leaving my mom’s kitchen and dining room looking as clean as it does every day. Once that’s finished, we go back to the living room to play board games, drink coffee, and spend time together. We love to talk about our lives and you are an important part of our lives, so as we play board games together, we’ll be talking about your plans and ours for the upcoming holiday of New Year’s, and what you plan for the next year.

Late in the evening, we pack the car back up, and drive home with leftovers and full tummies. Usually we listen to NPR in the car, but on Christmas, it’s Christmas music all the time. We talk about what we enjoyed best about the day and go home to have a nice warm snooze after a long day spent with you – and the rest of our family.

I’m so glad you chose to join us for our Christmas celebration. We love you and are glad you chose to spend your Christmas with us.



Your Holiday Mom: Chrissy

DrLisaTo My Dear Holiday Child,

Family events can be very difficult for many reasons, many talk about everything you’ve done and can be either supportive or discouraging. I’d like you to know you’re not alone during these holidays, you have someone who cares about you and I’m very proud of how far you’ve come; you may have made some mistakes but it’s made you into the incredible person you are today. Please know that I, as your adopted holiday mom, recognize that as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning community, this time of year can be especially trying for you… You are not alone, and you have my thoughts during these holidays.

Your family may not be very accepting of your sexual orientation, which is very sad. I’m sorry that you cannot be with your true love when you’re with the people that are supposed to love you unconditionally. If you cannot be with your partner at work or in public I’m sorry the world isn’t ready to witness that, it’s incredibly unfair and very upsetting. Your rights shouldn’t be taken away just because you’re different, love is love and one day the world will be ready to understand and accept it. Please during these hard times imagine coming over to my house, bringing your partner and being accepted whole heartedly. I look forward to you and your partner showing up with hugs and empty stomachs! I want to tell you how much I’ve missed you and give you lots of compliments of how cute you two are. I know it’s hard when the world looks down on you for something so ordinary as who you love but I wouldn’t and won’t ever; so when you’re sitting with your family please think of me because I’m here and I accept you; we are in this together.

If you haven’t had the chance to come out yet and have to constantly hide a huge part of who you are I want you to know there are people who accept you and love you still. You have to constantly live your life to impress your family, which is incredibly exhausting… Just so they see what they want in you. Please never give up hope on coming out, you will make it there one day; even if it’s just to your friends that’s still a huge accomplishment. Getting gifts may also be a problem for you, which I’m sorry for. I wish you could get the gifts the real you would like, I’d like nothing more to see your face light up with happiness. Please remember there are many other who are facing the same problem as you and understand; one day I hope you never have to worry about faking that smile and “thank you” again. Your gender identity is very important to me and I want you to be comfortable, so please don’t hide who you really are. You’re beautiful to me, so I want you to think you are. Please go stand in front of the mirror and see your reflection. Look past the flaws you see, point out one good thing and start from there; everyday point out something you like about yourself and start seeing yourself the way I do. Feel my hugs as I tell you how proud I am of you, as I admire your bravery, and as I send my love.

I know someone who currently had the courage to come out to her parents, she knew she was bisexual for a year but was terrified to tell anyone- even her best friend. So when she turned 19 she waited until she was off to college and sat with her mom and dad and told them she likes both men and women. It went fairly good, considering so many others have had non-open minded parents. Her mom took it as a joke- as an excuse for “being hurt by so many men. Her father fully accepts her though, which is incredible; she hasn’t came out to any of her family outside her parents but one day she will, she will be brave and I hope that she’ll receive the love she gives to everyone she meets. I’m writing you this letter on her behalf, she has openly spoke to me about how she feels around her mom and I realize I don’t want anyone feeling that way. Everyone should be loved, no matter who they love. She’s an amazing girl and I always have her in my heart, as I do with you. I will think of you during this holiday season, and family events further on. I wish love for you, happiness, and acceptance. I hope you know that someone sincerely cares about and knows how your feel. There is no one like you and that makes you special. Never forget that you’re one of a kind and you are not alone.

All my love,

Holiday Mom


Merry Christmas, my child…

heather gHello Dear Child

I am writing to you to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Although this may not seem like a very merry time for you, I would like you to know that I am a “mom” writing to you to tell you that you deserve to have a Merry Christmas.

You also deserve to be happy, Blessed and loved.

And although, we have never met, I have met what you stand for. I have seen young people struggle as they attempt to figure out who they are, kids who have had a difficult time, who couldn’t find their way because of the road blocks in their lives.

I tell my own teenager, he can overcome anything but he has to know that he can do it and so can you. I tell him he is not alone and nor are you. He has the love and support of me and so do you. He will find his way, even though it seems so dark and so will you.

I want you to be assured that you have someone in your corner, someone who will be thinking of you this coming Christmas and the days after. Wrap yourself in that knowledge. When you are lonely remember this letter and the woman who has written it to you. Please feel the love and acceptance that I am writing into every single word and paragraph. Try to remember this letter when things seem so desperate and sad.

Remember my letter and the words you deserve to be happy, Blessed and loved.

Merry Christmas my Child.

From your Holiday Mom, Heather

Your Holiday Mom: Tina

mamabear cookieHappy Holidays to my INCREDIBLE  Holiday Child!

I want you to make sure you first feel comfortable and welcome in our home. Holidays are for family–whether it’s the family you were born into or the family you create.

I warn you that the holidays are certainly an EVENT here. Charlie, my 3 and a half year old, has been singing Christmas songs DAILY since he turned two, so it’s been tough to hold out and not play them until December. I hope you are okay with nonstop rounds of Jingle Bells and as Charlie says “You Better Not Pout!” (Personally, I prefer to listen to Christmas music from The Jackson Five, the Temptations, Harry Connick, Jr. and Stevie Wonder but I’m always interested in adding more to the mix–you are welcome to contribute your favorites or perhaps we can discover some new ones together.)

If you were here, we’d definitely be planning some movie nights to watch Elf, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and my personal favorite, the animated, stop motion Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie from the 60s. I sometimes identified with the redheaded doll from the Island of the Misfit Toys and Hermey, the Christmas Elf who just wanted to be a dentist (feeling like I didn’t fit in). That movie reminds me to look out for the overlooked and see the value and recognize the identity of each individual.

We also celebrate Hannukah here with lighting the Menorah and going to a party of adopted friends and family at my in-laws. Although I’m not Jewish, I’ve been working on my Jewish baking skills. I’ve gotten latkes, matzoh ball soup and babka down, but perhaps you could help me nail a brisket recipe or, better yet, we could make a copycat of those gorgeously decorated dreidel and menorah sugar cookies I saw at Williams-Sonoma. (With my art skills, this would probably be a big Pinterest fail, but it’s certainly a dream to be able to recreate those.)

I feel very fortunate that when I was a teen about to start college, my mom sat me down and said “I want you to know that your dad and I love you and will always accept you. It’s okay if you–or any of your siblings, for that matter–are gay. We don’t ever want you worrying that you won’t be loved.”

My LGBTQ friends always joked that it was wasteful to pair such accepting parents to a straight kid, but I want you to know it gave you a fiercely loyal ally and advocate and it means you’d have a warm and loving home to come to. We spend Christmas Eve and Day with them. Christmas Eve is time with our extended family (all the aunts and uncles and my grandmother from my dad’s side) and Christmas Day is with my brother and sister at my parents’ house. It’s crowded and loud and we used to listen to the Christmas music QVC played (yes, the shopping channel) until my mom figured out there was a Christmas music station on the TV. There will be lots and LOTS of teasing and joking and laughter. Maybe even some games. Definitely with lots of my mom’s Christmas cookies (she probably makes a dozen or so different kinds).

I don’t know about you, but I also like to take advantage of some quiet during this season to reflect–I like doing that early in the morning while it’s still dark with the Christmas tree lit or on New Year’s night after all the hustle and bustle from the holidays has passed. Whether you’re 17 or 70, I think it’s important to recognize how far you’ve come and where you hope to go. For me, this year was a bumpy one and I learned the lesson that “progress not perfection” is the way to go. I’ve been looking at my circle of friends and family and identifying who lifts me up, supports me and helps me be a better person. My hope for you is that you also can identify these people and have the foresight to invest your time and energy into those people while letting the energy vampires in your life take a back seat for a bit. After all, that’s what you deserve.

Oh… and one last thing… Santa is bringing Charlie a set of drums for Christmas. So you may want to bring your earplugs. If you don’t have any, I suspect Santa could wrap some up for you.

Love Your Holiday Mom, Tinamamabear cookie

Your Holiday Mom: Lori

lori and sam

To hear Lori read her letter to you, click here.  

Dear Holiday Child,

Please allow me to step in over the holidays and in some small way fill the role of “mom.” I am just a regular mother of two teenage boys, one 16 years old and one 14. Both are in high school. The youngest is a natal female, but is transitioning into his true gender as a boy.

We live in the Nation’s Capitol, a very urban environment. Yet we have lots of wonderful holiday traditions (we celebrate Christmas), including the White House Christmas Tree, trees representing all the states down on the Mall, and the Capitol Christmas Tree. There is ice skating at the Sculpture Garden (just off the Mall), as well as in Georgetown. In fact, Sam (my youngest, in the picture) will be headed to an ice skating birthday party Thursday with friends from his school. So even though we live in a city, there are many outdoor activities around the holidays here.

We’ll be having most of the family over on Christmas Day. They are a very silly bunch, bringing a lot of laughter, goofy jokes, and good-natured teasing for all. They will bring food (my oldest brother Rob is great at smoking turkeys, his daughter makes delightful pies and cakes, and his wife Marianne bakes the best Christmas cookies on the planet). And they will arrive late. They are always late. Maybe this year I’ll invite them an hour earlier than I really want them to arrive (!) Also on-hand will be my mother, and two other brothers and their families. Plus I invited the graduate student who lives next door; she can’t travel home for the holiday. It will indeed be a full house.

The holidays to me are about pausing just a moment from our busy lives to look around and be grateful for what and who we have in our lives. I am proud of you, holiday child, for being true to yourself and having the courage and conviction to live an authentic life. I admire and respect your ability to know yourself deeply and recognize what life means to you, even when your path is different from that of most. That takes guts.

I hope you find a healthy way to surround yourself with love and laughter over the holidays. Wrap yourself in the warmth of true friendships, and perhaps reach out and help others who can use a hand.

I will pause over the holidays and think of you, wish you well, and hope you are enjoying the precious company of good friends.


Your holiday mom