Your Holiday Mom: Carin (+ Dad Reese)

carin and reese pic Your Holiday MomWell hello there!! Welcome back my dear holiday child, come in the house where it is warm. Lets get your coat hung up so the cats don’t get fur all over it.

It is so good to see you again! I want to hear everything that is going on in your life! What a year it has been, life has been very full with children growing and milestones being reached. Tasha got married and Catrina is graduating from high school. They are a little busy in their own homes this evening (though they send their love) but this gives us a chance to spend the evening with just you, Reese and I. I can’t wait to hear about how your year was and what wonderful milestones you have reached. Goodness I have been so excited to see you that I am getting ahead of myself.

Come in the kitchen, lets get you something to drink before we head into the living room and get caught up. Dinner will be a bit yet, lets go see Reese in the living room. I was hoping you would help me decorate the tree this year, with the girls being busy it is just Reese and I and we would appreciate the help. I am not sure if you remember but we get a new unique ornament for the tree every year, I was at a craft fair and I found a beautiful new ornament for you this year too!

Hey it looks like Reese got the lights on the tree! Thank you honey, now we can get the ornaments on. The boxes are in the basement, would you mind helping Reese get them?


I just have to get the pellet trap off of the Christmas box. Did Tasha tell you, on her birthday, instead of blowing out the candle on her cake, I got her to shoot the flame off with the pellet rifle? She did on the first try! She only hit the wick, not the candle. The student is surpassing the teacher. That’s how it should be, I guess.

Too bad we don’t have enough time for you to give it a try. Well, you’ll get lots of chances to play if the Nerf guns come out after dinner. There was another Nerf war on Thanksgiving again this year. Carin actually got video of it. Thanksgiving was on Grandpa Jim’s birthday this year so we sent him the video. He said it gave him a great laugh. I got a new Nerf gun for the battle this year. One battle, and two of the five darts are gone to be with the missing socks. Can’t find them anywhere.

One of these boxes is heavier than the other one. You want the heavier one? I appreciate the offer, but the old man’s not that old yet! Well, okay, you can take the heavier one if you really want to. Sometimes I forget just how strong you are.


Thank you for your help with the tree! Once you put your new ornament on the tree it will be perfect! I am so thankful that you came this evening, the tree is always more beautiful when we have family help us decorate. I am not sure if you have noticed, but we define family as people who love each other and are dedicated to supporting and loving each other no matter the situation. Last year we spoke of the family quilt and how each person is a wonderful and unique patch and the love we have for each other is the yarn that holds all the unique patches together. Every time we support each other the yarn gets stronger and with every new patch the quilt becomes more beautiful and keeps us warm when it is cold. You are an important patch in our family quilt.

Lets go get dinner on the table. We feel it is important to give thanks for everything that we have been blessed with, one these blessings, is you.

Before you go, lets get a picture of the three of us with the tree, I will text it to you and the girls so they can see what an excellent job we did!

Darling, I know it could be a year before we see each other, but know in your heart that you are loved and respected. Next year, if you are with someone special, bring them with you, we will welcome them with open arms.

Love you every day.

Mom Carin and Dad Reese


  1. Rees says:

    This is my first Christmas away from my parents… while I am staying with other family members and not exactly family-less for these holidays, I am still… closeted… And feeling a bit left out…

    My family is religious… They have a set view on what a person’s life should look like, including me marrying a faithful, church-going man… Besides the expectation that I am heartbroken and feel disappointed that could never meet- I had a stage where I tried to go for boys… I cried over not feeling an attraction to any guy I’d met… I hated myself for being who I was and for not being what others thought of as, “normal”- there is also the fact that… some, like my father, know about my sexuality… Some have used silence or, again like my father, words that convey a clear message of something being unacceptable, disappointing and disgusting to them…

    When my mother first found out (I told her when I was sixteen), her first response was to tell my father. I had freaked out (my father and I had always butt heads and there had been instances where he had hit me… I apologize… there is no other way to put that… I don’t like putting it as abuse… that probably doesn’t make sense). I had been scared… And, seeing as my mother had been a bit… less than accepting… I chose to play along. I nodded and averted my gaze when she encouraged me to go for a boy at our church. I forced a smile and mumbled a false agreement when she spoke of it being a phase…

    Then, while I was away at camp this past summer, she had gone through my phone (I’d left it in my hurry to go) and found out about my girlfriend.

    She was disgusted. Angry. I felt cornered… She stated her opinion from the start on my relationship with my girlfriend as if she just wanted to make her seem like this horrible person who is bad for me… I was hurt. I truly love the girl I am with. It hurt me more because dreamed of a relationship where my parents would love my special someone and their parents would adore me, as well…

    Eventually my mother learned to come to grips with the fact that I wasn’t going to end up married to a man, someday. While she still isn’t encouraging, she learned to accept it. I am grateful for that.

    Thus acceptance didn’t happen until after she’d told my dad, fully accepting and even wanting him to blow up on me. My dad d idnt blow up. He got cold. Silent. Suspicious. I couldn’t walk outside or use the internet without him complaining to my mom or saying, “future employees will see what do online. Don’t do anything you’d regret” after he’d seen a message from a group chat full of my LGBT online friends titled, “The Gays” as if I’d regret talking to those amazing people who helped me want to live, again… as if I’d regret being queer and having an amazing girlfriend…

    Besides that, he’d only directly approached the topic of my sexuality once. Long enough to say that he wishes he had known earlier to try and get me to see how wrong it is, as if my entire lifestyle was a mistake he wished he had corrected earlier. Long enough to tell me I had six months to leave because he couldn’t take that under his roof.

    Now… I am with my grandmother and other family… But there is still this pressure to seem like the typical Mormon girl who will go on her mission, marry a future bishop… There is still this… This sense of not belonging, just like there was at home… And I feel so alone…

    Some family members know but not most… not even half… with the ones who do know, I get that sort of… “I know all you’re doing is wrong but I’m keeping quiet” vibe…

    I just… sometimes, I think… If I could change who I am just to feel like I belong with my family… just to actually feel loved by them all again… just to not feel so odd and left out while in the crowd… I would…

    As I grew older, the holidays got a bit sadder.

    So, in the end… thank you. For this letter. It helped. I cried.

    This whole site is making me cry… And the panicky and sad pressure in my chest is kinda relieved…

    Sorry my comment is so long…

    (Haha my name is Rees without an e- coincidental, ay?)

    • Dad Reese says:

      Hi Rees, this is Dad Reese. Hey, we got the same name, isn’t that cool?

      Don’t apologize for such a long comment when it is so well written. You must be a very intelligent person. It shines through in your writing.

      Not only are you intelligent, but you are very ethical! It would not be moral, or fair at all, to the boyfriend/husband for you to *pretend* to be attracted and in love with him. It is much better for you to be really you. You are sparing a lot of pain for people, and isn’t that a big part of “do unto others what you would have them do unto you” is about? It should make your parents proud of you. I’m proud of you.

      I’m sorry that you have to absorb so much pain while you spare others from pain, if that makes sense. Your story brought a tear to my eye, too. I wish I could hug you for every time you were ever hit.

      Okay, well, now your story actually made me cry… Stories like yours make me wish I could be your dad and give you the protection and support dads are supposed to give.

      Hugs from your Holiday Dad.

  2. Aaron says:

    This legit made me cry because I legit never had a dad ever sure i have a birth dad but not a dad i live with…. Thank you so much for making me feel welcomed!

    • Brigid says:

      Hey Aaron,
      I’m so glad you found this blogsite. It sure is a wonderful place to find support and acceptance! We may not be able to take the place of a Dad in your life, but we do love and accept you just as you are. Remember, you are a wonderful, strong, unique person with an exciting life ahead of you. Drop by anytime you need a boost. Hugs!

    • Dad Reese says:

      Hey Aaron, it’s Dad Reese here. I’m glad you feel welcome. To me it’s a big part of what a dad is supposed to do–to make you feel welcome, safe and secure in the family home. Thanks for dropping in–you’re welcome any time.

  3. Warren says:

    I definitely did not cry…okay so I did. These are such wonderful letters and I’m so glad I stumbled across this page. I really need this, ever since my parents decided to treat me like I was less than them.

    • Mom Carin says:

      Well hello there Warren!
      I am so glad you left us a note. I want all my kids (even though so many are adults now) to know that I see you and I love you no matter where you are. My holiday wish is for love and acceptance for you too. So grab a warm drink there is always fresh coffee in the pot. Snuggle into the comfy couch and lets talk about your life! Whats exciting. What drives your passion? What are you working toward? We love to help you grow.

      • Warren says:

        Passion…I don’t know. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve always been told I can’t do what it is I love. I’ve been working to prove people wrong all my life. When my mom was pregnant with me, she asked my dad “what if we have a gay kid?” My dad replied with, “Don’t say that, it won’t happen.” And here I am. I’ve always been told who I can or can’t be. I was always told I would never be a real boy, or I would never go to the college I wanted to. My mom never really supported me for any of the dreams I had (i.e. transitioning from female to male, going to college) So I guess that’s what drives my passion. I am currently working towards…well transitioning and I’m also getting ready for college. I’ve already gotten accepted and I am currently trying to make sure I have a plan for after high school. It’s a little sad however. My holiday mom knows more about what’s going on than my birth mother. It’s nice to know at least someone cares.

        • Mom Carin says:

          Warren you have a long road as you transition. But. It is such a worthwhile process to be able to present your true self to the world!
          About college.. Good for you to be accepted right away like that! The first year of college can be a very different time. Make sure you take good care of youself while you study. Being accepted right away tells me a lot about your willingness to work hard to achieve great things. Some days it can be hard to keep moving forward, but even the tiniest of steps are still steps. You can sleep well at night knowing you gave your best that day, then wake up and take on the world again.
          You can achieve anything you want as long as you do the work to achieve it. Looking at how far you have come and where you are going fills my heart with pride. You are strong and stubborn (like Reese). I know there is a phrase that says if you can dream it, you can achieve it. But I would add in a line to make it more accurate. If you can dream it and you work your butt off, you can achieve it. With your work ethic, young man you WILL achieve it all!
          Love Mom Carin

  4. Peter says:

    Im so glad i found this womderful letter to read the fact that you two are more accepting than my family both makes my heart break a little but gives me hope that there are more people like you two in this world. I came out as transgender to my friends, two sisters, and my mom i dont have the guts to tell my dad at least not just yet my sisters and friends couldnt be any more supportive and i appreciate so much despite the factvive lost a couple of friends when i came out but my mom refuses to believe im trans now shes coming around a bit i guess but its still not the same but my point is i thank you both very much for this i really needed this especially now that i have to deal with highschool and all those homophobic/transphobic people i say again thank you i really mean it

    • Shamama says:

      Hello Peter! We really, really, REALLY mean it when we say you’re more than welcome just as you are here! It’s a tough world sometimes, and to not have family that gets you – well, that is why we are here. Sending big hugs to you! Shamama

    • Carin says:

      Hello my darling Peter!

      It may have been a year since this was written but we are here. Thinking about all of you, loving you the best way we can. We hear you. We see you for who you are and we are so happy you are finding your path in life. Seeing your note makes me feel sadness for what you are about to face but great joy because you are here speaking your truth and we love you for it. High school is never easy especially if you are seen as different in any way. It is however fleeting and you can get through it to be your fabulous self. Not a clone of expectations. I love YOU.
      Mom Carin

    • Dad Reese says:


      You are so courageous, it makes me a little misty-eyed. Hugs for you!

      The day you’re born (or these days, with ultrasound, before you’re born), parents get the news, “it’s a boy!” or “it’s a girl!” and they think that’s the end of it, and they start building their hopes and dreams for you around that.

      In some cases, like yours, that’s not the end of it. It can be really hard for a parent to make the adjustment. They have to go through the grief cycle as they realize things are not the way they thought they were.

      The grief cycle starts with denial, then anger, then depression and detachment, then dialogue and bargaining, then, finally, acceptance. Acceptance is where it ends. They can’t change it, but there’s something hard-baked in us that makes us want to try to hold on to the way things were before.

      Eventually they will realize that the whole time they have loved you, from your birth to today, you have been a different gender than you physically appeared to be. When they accept that, they reorganize and realize that things can be even better than they were before, now that you don’t have to torture yourself trying to be a gender you’re not.

      If you check Google Images for “grief cycle”, you’ll find an image that shows this cycle in detail. I don’t think I can link one here, but they’re all the same. There aren’t “multiple theories” about grief. Everyone agrees.

      It’s what your parents will have to go through, and you’ve just got to love them through it. Stay safe, stay strong, but love them through it.

      I’m so glad you wrote today because I’ve been going through a grief cycle on another matter and didn’t even realize it before I told you about the grief cycle! (I’m at the “dialogue and bargaining” stage–almost done!)

      One more hug before I go. Take care of yourself, Peter. Come back every Christmas! Or before, if you want to.

      Dad Reese

  5. Ali says:

    Hello,Its been a year or so since I was last here. Holidays are coming up in…Soon I mean,I still haven’t come out,But i:m Pansexual. Hahaha anyways,Hows the family going? When if gets closer to the holidays ill definitely come back here. Have a nice day,Mom Carin and Dad Reese!

    • Carin says:

      Hello Ali sweetheart

      Holidays are coming and we are here. Having you visit to say hi just made my day.

      Have a wonderful day !

      Mom Carin

  6. Shannon says:

    Thank you so much. Ive come out as bi and non binary to my friends but it’s so scary for family. It feels great having a warm comforting place to talk.

    • Carin says:

      Hi there Shannon!

      I am so glad you found us! Until you find yourself ready to tell others. If and when that happens. Know that we are here. Accepting and loving you for who you are.

      This is a time of thanksgiving and harvest and my thanks include you. That you found us and that we can add you to our family.

      Much love. Mom Carin.

  7. Annabelle says:

    Thank you so much for doing this. I always cry when I read these letters because I finally feel loved and have a family that want to be there for me. Thanks again for your support during the holidays and making me feel like I have a home.

    • Mom Carin says:


      Darling you are loved, we may be at a distance but we do care, we do have positive thoughts and hopes for your bright future. Yes we do love you. You always have a home in our hearts.

      Mom Carin

    • Mom Carin says:

      Sleep well darling we are always sending you love and *hugs*

      Mom Carin

  8. Ali says:

    Hey Mom Carin and dad Reese!

    Your letter was very nice,i truly love it

    I am a girl who is bi, but prefers a gender more then the other…

    For the holidays ive been a bit left…

    I look forward to seeing you again!


  9. Tom says:

    Hi I am new to this never have been good about opening up but i am hoping this will make feel better. i might not be to good at writing these but it will be fun. my birthname is sophie but i rather call myself tom. i am a ftm transgender and have been for a long time however i have never had alot of support or help threw it, i mostly spend my time thinking what should i do. i came out to some people when i was really young but nothing ever happened and i recently spoke again about it but all they could say is about how i have a boyfriend and that i have to do it on my own. so far i get alot depressed so i hope maybe this will help sorry if i have not wrote this to well
    love tom

    • Mom Carin says:

      Tom, it is very late where I live but I couldn’t go to bed without sending you love. You are a wonderful valued person in this world. It is important that you look at yourself in the mirror and respect who you are day in and day out. Keep the self talk positive and know that you are loved.

      Sleep well tonight my darling child.
      Mom Carin.

      • Tom says:

        hi mom carin
        its pretty late here too as i write to you , i am glad you see me as that, it made me feel alot better after today and saddly i look in the mirror but sometimes i see not myself looking back at me. i mean i really find it hard to be positive lately but i have found afew new things i like to do and they keep me occupied.

        i hope you sleep well to mom
        love tom

    • Dad Reese says:

      Hi Tom! We know what you mean so you wrote just fine. One of my childhood friends is mtf transgender. I believe she was 44 or 45 when she finally accepted what she was and acted upon it. You are blessed to know yourself so well at such a young age, not wasting time trying to be someone you are not. You are very strong. I am glad our letter was appreciated and helpful to you.

      Love & hugs,
      Dad Reese

      • Tom says:

        hi dad reese
        your words made me smile i wish i had bravery to do something about how i feel but lately i just feel to scared, oh i am 19 by the way i forgot to put it in the last one . i get depressed alot lately like self hate but i have been trying to keep my mind from it by drawing or playing games.

        love and hugs

  10. Catherine says:

    Hi, mom carin and dad reese. I want to introduce myself a bit to you. I’m Catherine, age 15, and I identify as a panromantic/demisexual agender person (I use they/them pronouns). I’m out as pan to my mother, but not as agender. I previously identified as a trans male and when I told her she did not accept me and told me “I gave birth to a girl”. I found these letters last year during a time of self hate. It’s been almost a year and I’ve since grown to love myself and accept my flaws. Every time I come back to this letter in particular it never fails to make me tear up. You two make me feel so loved, regardless of however I identify. I have a girlfriend and if i were to ever bring her to a family dinner we would, no doubt, get a lot of rude comments. Thank you two for being so amazing <3

    • Dad Reese says:

      I am glad our letter makes you feel loved. I am also glad that this self-hate is behind you, and that it has been a year since that period. There are enough haters to go around without hating ourselves!

      Whenever I’m feeling bad about myself, I give it time. I never have to render a final judgment on myself and neither do you. Never.

      A hug for you and your girlfriend, may you have a very happy holiday season together!

    • Shamama says:

      Dear Catherine, I know this was to Mom Carin and Dad Reese, but I have to tell you how proud I am of the growth you share and how glad I am that yourholidaymom could be a part of it! Love, Shamama Robin

  11. Jay says:

    Wow, I’m astonished as I read this. The fact that you two can be so much more accepting than my own family makes me want to scream from the rooftops that they’re wrong, but reading this puts my very soul at ease. I’m glad to have escaped the hate and the abuse, but at the same time I was feeling so alone. I found this site through tumblr and I just have to say thank you for everything. Thank you for allowing me to feel like a part of your family, thank you for giving me a sense of acceptance and love, thank you for reminding me what it feels like to not be alone during the holidays. I’m sitting here with cold fingers and a warm heart. What an amazing couple you two are. Thank you, mama Carin and papa Reese. Keep being amazing, I’ll make sure to say an extra prayer for you two <3 <3

    • Dad Reese says:

      Thank you Jay, for your prayers and for letting us know a part of your story. I am glad that you have escaped an abusive situation, but you know, you haven’t just escaped. You have won.

    • Mom Carin says:


      Thank you for finding us, it is our honor and privilege to share a bit of our lives with all of our wonderful holiday children. I was saying to Reese this morning that if it were possible to bring you all home with me I would. We would need a much bigger place, we laughed only because we imagined the size of the house we would need. Think castle with hundreds of rooms so that I would know all my loved ones would have a safe house where they knew they would be loved. Know darling you are also in our prayers.

      Mom Carin

  12. Toby says:

    Thankyou. Both of you. Thank you. I started to cry while reading this (in a good way) and I know it’s early/late but again thank you. My family don’t support me and to read the letter and feel included, it just made my day

    Thank you so so so much.
    And I wish you both well

    • Mom Carin says:

      Toby!! I am so glad you found us! In our home everyone is included, goodness if not then Reese and I would have to do all the dishes ourselves. LOL seriously darling I have a wish for you this season, to be surrounded by people who love and respect you. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and that you know that even though there is distance, you are loved.

      Mom Carin

  13. Nicole says:

    I know the holidays have pretty much passed but I found this website and wanted to give it a read through. I just want to say thank you… Thank you so, so much…The only time my own dad acknowledged my sexuality was to throw it in my mom’s face and the only response my mom had was to break down crying,saying I’m going to hell… This letter made me cry with joy.. I’ve been depressed for a while now but this site has shown me that there is still hope for the world. Again, thank you and I hope everyone has a wonderful day

    • Reese says:

      Hey, thanks Nicole! It’s my birthday today and it made it extra special reading your comment. I almost cried myself reading what you’ve gone through. I’m sorry that your dad acted the way he did and I’m sorry anyone told you you were going to hell for being what you naturally are.

      You know how you’ve seen there is still hope for the world? Over Christmas I found something that tells me there is still hope for the church, too, an inclusive way instead of a condemning way. I don’t know if you’d be interested, but if you are, look for a lady named Nadia Bolz-Weber on YouTube. She’s a Lutheran pastor with the ELCA and her congregation is inclusive. And she’s a really good preacher. She does my heart good and you might find it uplifting too.

    • Mom Carin says:

      Nicole, holiday seasons do come and go, the love we share and have for you….yes you. Remains.

      Mom Carin

  14. eva says:

    oh my god you guys, thank you so much. i am utterly in tears, and shaking uncontrollably. i never had this kind of loving home, and it is so soothing just to hear something like this. i come from a super abusive household; i’m agender, and i suffer from three mental illnesses, which make my life really difficult. i..just… the holiday season is always so terrible for me, but you just made it a lot better. much much love to you

    • Mom Carin says:

      Eva, I hope you can feel my hug through the miles. Know that you are perfect just with who you are. People grow and change and as you do you will still be perfect just the way you are at that moment. Spend time with those who love you for all the wonderful things that you are and know that I am thinking about you sending wishes of love and peace all season. long.

  15. Cat says:

    This particular letter made me sob really hard. You guys made a point to make it feel as though I was actually there with you, helping you out, chatting with you, etc. I really appreciate it and I’d like to thank you so much for this. <3

    • Mom Carin says:

      Cat, I am so happy you feel loved and with us though our letter. Know that I am thinking about you and loving you all through the holidays.

  16. Lima says:

    Wow, I loved this so much. I also really loved Reese’s part too. Thank you Mom Carin and Dad Reese!

    • Mom Carin says:

      Lima, thank you for commenting. Reese and I are so honored to be part of this to get the privilege of opening our hearts to so many wonderful people like you. My wish for you is a bright and joyful holiday season filled with love all around you. *HUGS*

  17. Mom Carin says:

    Sierra, my hope for you this season is that you feel the love and joy that we send to you every day. Know that you are in our hearts and thoughts.

  18. Dmitri says:

    This made me cry. Thank you so much! This made me feel like someone actually cared and accepted me. I really needed this. Thank you so much!

  19. Ashley says:

    Wow thank you so much for this. This will be the first holiday season that I won’t be with my parents so this means a lot and I cried a little by reading this. Thank you so much.

    • Mom Carin says:

      Ashley, I am so happy to have welcomed you into our home. Have a wonderful holiday season with loved ones. (Remember the family quilt)

  20. Remi says:

    Omg, this was just too sweet to read! I could picture this all going down in my head and it helped me escape while I was reading it. And to me, it meant a lot also having your husband involved. My dad was never really involved like that so reading what your husband wrote was another nice filler along with what you wrote, Carin.
    Thank you. Just truly, thank you. <3

    • Mom Carin says:

      You are most welcome Remi, our home is just like that, and the more family that is around it is just a bit more fun and slightly chaotic. Lots of laughter and everyone loving and supporting each other. One of the things that makes me giggle is when I hear Tasha say to Reese “Bring it on old man!” when he challenges her to something new.

    • Dad Reese says:

      Remi, I am so happy to hear that my little part in this meant something to you. Your comment certainly means a lot to me. Thank you!

    • Mom Carin says:

      Happy Holidays Lucas! Knowing we have brought a smile to your face is the best present I could get. Thank you for being here.

  21. Jack says:

    I’ve just discovered these letters and I’m surprised to see how much they mean to me and how much they warm my heart. Thank you for your kindness and for the time and love you put into these.

    • Mom Carin says:

      Hey there Jack! In my opinion Kindness and Love are all we really have to give out in this world. I am so pleased that you feel some of what we have to give. *HUGS* Happy Holidays!

  22. Jess says:

    All I can say right now is thank you, thank you so much for writing these words. I wish you all the best!



    • Lisa says:

      Jess, all of the moms here are sending you a bucket load of love, and hope that you can feel it!

    • Mom Carin says:

      Hi there Jess, *HUGS* I hope that your holidays are beautiful and bright wherever you find yourself this year.

  23. Sierra says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful words. Your generosity and open minded love brings tears to my eyes, and I just wanted to say how very much I appreciate what you do. Thank you for making my holidays a little brighter.

    • Lisa says:

      So glad you found us, Sierra, sending you tons of love and support this holiday season! BIG HUG! XO

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