Your Holiday Mom: Jenn

jenn cat up_in_the_tree...__Dear Holiday Child,

We are so glad to welcome you home this year! Even though it can only be virtually, my family is here, imagine we’re taking your coat, you are stomping the snow off your shoes in the hallway and coming in out of the cold. There is merriment in the air since we’ve been looking forward to your visit for a long time. There is our little grey cat Minnie, perched on the bannister of the old stairs. She likes to greet everyone who comes over nose to nose. Smokey, our elder cat, will probably warm your lap later on once things quiet down.

Today, it is tradition that we put up our Christmas tree and so I’ll leave you with dear Isabel, our 6 year old, while the boxes are brought up from the basement. I hope you’ll make yourself at home, I don’t want you to work, just relax, enjoy playing with Isabel, that’s a huge help for me, and you’ll have fun. She’ll be so glad to adopt you for today as an older sibling! Enjoy the hot mulled cider I’ve got warming in the kitchen as well as the happy chaos of excitement. Christmas is her favorite time of year. The “Elf on the Shelf” will have to make an appearance tomorrow morning, so I’ll need you to help me keep him hidden until then! Maybe you’d like to read his book to her. She would like that.

Once we get the tree set up and tied to the window sill so the cat can’t knock it down, I have a gift for you. Please sit in the soft brown chair in front of fire place. Imagine the box — it’s brightly wrapped and topped with a sparkling bow. See, there is your name on the gold tag. You must open it now. We can’t wait. Inside, under the tissue paper, you find the delicate ornament for the tree, it’s yours, each year we get you a new one. It marks the history of the time you’ve spent in our family. I hope you like it. I spend a lot of time hunting for the perfect one, that matches who you are and what you really love.

We hang the strings of lights first, and the cat, I’m sure, is already up in the upper layers of the tree,. We are laughing at her antics. I say as I do every year, “We should keep the tree up year round for cat enrichment.” Everyone pretends to agree, even if I seem like the crazy cat lady. Now we put up each group of ornaments…the tin sleighs with St. Nick at the reins, the snowmen and red boughs, the wrapped gifts and glass globes of every color. I would love if you put up my special ones, near the top…the crystal seahorses and penguins, the stag with his frosted glass antlers and red holly at his neck. We have a mixture of different styles on our tree. When I was younger, I liked to have it all be one or two colors, matching, but over time, and especially since becoming a mom, I began to love the tapestry of memories each ornament represents.

Once fully decorated, the tree tells the story of our family, and you can figure out a little of who we are, at the heart, from the ornaments, chosen with care. One of my very favorites, forgive me if I’ve told this story before, is from Mystic Seaport and has etched tall ships on it. I got this one the year I was homesick, living far from the sea and the home town I loved. It has special meaning because Mystic is the town where met my husband, where we first fell in love. I am so glad to see your ornament in the middle, sparkling away, as part of our family tree and lasting memory.

Once we’re done, we admire our work and enjoy a dinner of hot 3-alarm chili with melted cheese and fresh bread. There’s four of us at the table and later, once we’ve cleaned up, come on with me into the living room again, in the quiet. It’s so beautiful now, with the lights giving off their soft glow. Enjoy the hot cookies fresh from the oven. I added some peppermint to lift the spirit and remind us of joyful, happy times.

Dearest holiday child, I may not know you or the details of your struggle, but please know that I love you. I have plenty in my heart to go around and it’s not limited by space, time or proximity. I’d want to know you’ll come back every year. I will continue to do what I can to create a better world that welcomes every child, and in which all are safe and loved, where a parent’s love knows no conditions. Maybe you’ll take your ornament with you in your heart, holding it as proof that there is a mom out here, thinking of you, wishing you every possible happiness and wanting to know how things are going. I will keep a space for you in my heart and home. Be warm, be well, and may your future days be merry and bright.

All my love this holiday season and ever after,

Mom Jenn

71 comments

  1. Tyler Scott says:

    Thank you for doing these I really needed to hear that someone is out there that accepts me for who I am. My parents didn’t let me come to thanksgiving & won’t let me come to Christmas unless I get a girlfriend & admit I am not gay. they reject me & find my presence unsavory (I think that’s the word they used). I just really needed to know there are people out there who accept me for who I am. Thank you so much.

    • Angelic says:

      Hi Tyler Scott,
      We’re glad you found us here. We do think you’re uniquely perfect just the way you are. Lots of love & hugs to you!
      Love, Mama Angelic

  2. Caitlin says:

    dear mom,
    thank you so much. you have no idea what this does to the esteem of the LGBTQ+ community and the impact it has on us at the holidays.

  3. Ellizabeth says:

    Dear Mom,
    Thank you for this letter. I loove cats. I have one of my own. And kids, love them too. Reading this, I cried. I have great parents when it comes to most things. But my mother, despite her claims, does not like anyone who is not straight. And I am not. At the moment, I identify as bi, but I’m worried about how she’ll react. She thinks me having short hair suddenly makes me a lesbian, if that says anything. Your letter has made my day a lot better and easier to accept that my sexuality isn’t hetero.

    While I’m terrified of coming out to my mother, you’ve reminded me that I’m more than okay being who I am. Thank you, Holiday Mommy!

    Love your holiday daughter

    • Julie says:

      Hi! I’m bisexual *and* a mother, so as a holiday auntie I would like to welcome you to the bi club with a nice pot of tea. (We’ll heat it up after you’ve drunk Holiday Mom’s cider.) I love your hair!

    • Jenn says:

      Love to you dear Elizabeth! I love hearing about each of you and get tears too – huge hugs xoxo Mom Jenn

  4. Cassidy says:

    Mom –
    Thank you so much for writing. It made me physically smile, imagining my day with you. I absolutely love cats and I absolutely love kids, so I hope Isabel and the cats are doing well! You are so sweet and kind to take the time to write to me and remind me I’m loved just the way I am. I am truly blessed to have you as my holiday mom.
    Hugs,
    Cassidy

    • Chey says:

      Cassidy, you are a delight. I am sure the cats would absolutely cover you with kitty kisses, and the kids. . .Well, we know how exciting the holidays are for kids.

      Sending you love,
      Mama Chey

  5. Gabby says:

    Dear Mom,
    This honestly brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely love cats- I find them so fun and adorable but my birth mom doesn’t let me have any because they’re “useless”. I’d love so much to have an ornament on your tree. Thanks so much.
    ~Your holiday daughter, Gabby

    • Chey says:

      Gabby dear, I am desperately allergic to cats, so my dear daughters have to suffer through without them as well. I promise my oldest that she can have a cat as soon as she gets her own address. I intend to help with the litter and the food and the toys. Hopefully, they will be very happy catty togther. Maybe the same can happen for you.
      Happy holidays, dear.
      Mama Chey

  6. Calil says:

    Thank you so much for this letter. Every single one of these this season has warmed my heart and made it a much easier holiday season to get through with my holiday moms when the family I’m surrounded by every day isn’t accepting of my gender identity or romantic/sexual orientations. Thank you.

  7. Beck says:

    Dear holiday mom,

    Thank you so much for the time you’ve put inti making our lives better. I’ve only discovered this website this year, but it helps to hear some kind words from people you never thought would care.

    Your holiday child,
    Beck

  8. Mark says:

    Holiday Mom,

    Thank you for the warm and loving memories today. I adore the cats and Isabel is such a wonderful little sister. The tree, as always, looks so beautiful and I can’t thank you enough for the thoughtfulness you put into getting me my ornament. I plan on getting another just like it so that I can hang it up where I can see it this holiday season and remember that you are with me and that I am loved. Thank you so much for being there for me.

    With all my love,
    Mark

  9. Johanna says:

    Dear Jenn,

    this helped so much right now. Even though my inner family is fully accepting of my sexuality, life is hard at the moment and your letter reminded me how I am loved by so many people. I’m so grateful for that – and I wanted to thank you a huge lot for writing these beautifully crafted words!

  10. Riley says:

    Thank you for this, Jenn!
    This really felt like home. These letters mean so much to so many people, myself included. Reading this felt so accepting and loving, and it really touched me.

    Thanks so much, Holiday Mom.

    Happy Holidays! Much love,

    Riley

  11. Ashia says:

    I wish more than anything, i would have known about this site years ago. I am 17 and still living with my parents (unfortunately) but all of my days are filled with so much hate. And it is so nice to feel loved again. Thank you so much for being here.

  12. Kathleen says:

    Dear Holiday Mom,

    I’ll never be able to truly express how much reading this meant to me. Lets just say I’m bawling. As much as I love my family, I know if I came out to them they never would truly be okay with me being bisexual, and that breaks my heart. I don’t speak to my dad and my dad’s half of the family, and I love my mom and my mom’s side, but they’re all extremely religious and would never truly accept me for who I am. Reading this made me feel so incredibly loved and accepted, and it just hit me hard in the best possible way. It gave me a feeling I’ve never felt before. Thank you so much holiday mom. So so so much love. <3

    Your holiday daughter,
    Kathleen

      • Kathleen says:

        Huge hugs <3 Your letter reminded me how much I want to be a mom myself and how I would want to make sure my own kids and any other wouldn't go through what I and many others have. Re-reading the letter among many others here, I can just feel all the love pouring through it and it really makes such a huge difference on my daily outlook. Thank you holiday mama and thank you for replying. <3

        • Angelic says:

          Kathleen,
          I’m sure you’re going to be a great mother. So glad you joined us here for the holidays. Lots of hugs!
          Love, Mama Angelic

  13. Emily says:

    Mom Jenn,
    There are no proper words to describe the extent of which your letter has moved me; it brought me to tears and made me feel so safe and loved. I stumbled upon this site by accident and this is the first letter that I have read. It is a wonderful thing that you moms are doing.
    I am genderfluid and I have yet to come out to anyone. I hide behind my long, messy brown hair and my forced femininity during the times when I do not feel like my assigned gender. I have been forced to live as a shell of who I actually am.
    My mother is not the warmest individual and I have never felt the kind of love and openness from her that was depicted in your letter. She emotionally abuses me and is more than likely to yell at me than to be tender. She blames me for our rocky relationship, as I have, admittedly, withdrawn from her because of her verbal attacks. I have approached her about wanting to be tested for depression and anxiety (I have had suicidal thoughts and panic attacks in which an icy hand grabs my heart and prevents me from doing anything properly), but she just accused me of throwing those words around. To tell her about me being genderfluid would jeopardize our relationship further. I just want to thank you for giving me that motherly love and acceptance that has been absent from my life. It means the world to me to know that there is someone out there who loves me for who I am and I will be sure to keep that ornament in my heart.
    With love,
    Emily

    • Jenn says:

      Dearest Emily – you truly have my love – I hope it can stay with you whenever you’re in need of it – love mom Jenn

  14. Alex says:

    Dear Holiday Mom,
    I’m gender fluid and I haven’t yet come out to my parents. I’m really glad I’ve found somewhere that will except me and that will give me a place to belong until I can come out to my family! Thank you!

  15. Patrick-James says:

    This made me feel all nice and warm inside and finally felt some acceptence…Thank you very much

  16. Kurt says:

    Hello there.
    This really warmed my heart and made me cry. What you’re dong here gives me some sort of new hope, and someone to live for. Even if I can’t be welcomed into your home physically, I can still be there in another way. I can be somewhere I am loved and accepted fully, cared for, nurtured, and everything else a home should be. They say home is where the heart is, and you’ve got so much to share.
    Let me introduce myself, since I already went out on that tangent, I suppose. I’m Kurt. I’m trans, pansexual, go to an art highschool, and dye my hair funny colors. My entire life I have seen pain. I’ve lived it and experienced all it has to offer. I’ve survived (but not thrived through) parents splitting, abuse, mental disorders, hospital stays, trauma, and all other sorts. You say it, I’ve probably seen it somewhere on either side of my bio family. Scary.
    The holiday season is really rough for me because my bio family I’m forced into seeing every Christmas and Thanksgiving and every other holiday just doesn’t pay attention or something. I don’t know what it is, but we have never been able to have every single member of this sad concoction together at a table for more than an hour before something happens. Then again, the holiday season is a thankful time for me. Two years ago, my bio mom was hit by a car, and suffered a traumatic brain injury. This was about the time she was able to go home. Now I see that even from that, that every person is able to do amazing things. But me? I’m going to need some help with that. I struggle deeply with self despair. All I want and need is here- Someone who truly cares, even if not physical. Thanks for being here and reading that long blurb about me.

    Best always, Kurt.

    • Angelic says:

      Hi Kurt,
      We love you so much & we are so glad that you’re here! How sad for the world if you gave up hope completely. You are a special gift to the world, and to us here, gathering for the holidays. Sorry to hear about all that you’ve been through. We can only hope to be an oasis for you, to experience joy & community for now, during the holidays. We believe in you, and it’s wonderful that you’ve shared with us about yourself. Big hugs.
      Love, Mama Angelic

    • Jenn says:

      Dearest Kurt – so much love to you today and onward – I hold you in my heart and so glad you can feel I and all the moms here do truly care – we’ll be watching for your amazing – but to us you already are- xoxoxo mom Jenn

  17. Nina says:

    Dear Holiday mom,
    Thank you so much for your letter, it made me feel so loved and accepted and safe, which is not what I feel at home. I feel kinda out of place on this site because even though I am bisexual, my parents don’t know about it and therefore the tension between us doesn’t come from that. But ever since my dad died and my mom remarried, things have been getting worse and worse for me here and the holidays tend to make it less bearable. How can you spend so much time celebrating Christmas with people you don’t even feel safe around?
    Anyway, thank you so much for giving all of us a place we’re accepted for who we are and loved unconditionally.
    Hugs, Nina

    • Angelic says:

      Hi Nina,
      It doesn’t matter why there’s tension at home or why you feel unaccepted & unsafe, we are still sorry that’s the case for you. In this family, there is no reason for you to hide any part of who you are, not even your favorite holiday food. We love everything unique about you that adds to the celebrating & holiday cheer. Thank you for joining us.
      Love, Mama Angelic

  18. Joshua says:

    This was the first thing I read the instant I woke up. Yesterday my friend told me about this site, And I am glad they did, The further I read this letter the more teary eyed I became. This definitely lifted my holiday spirits. This was the first letter I’ve read on this site, And I actually felt loved in a way I haven’t before. You have a love filled thank you from me.
    Hugs to you and your family :)

    • Angelic says:

      Hi Joshua,
      We’re so glad that you showed up. We are all family here, and we all love the hugs. It’s great to see your smile, and we are very happy to share the holidays with you, as it wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for joining us! Love, Mama Angelic

  19. D says:

    Though my tears disallow me to read any further your beautiful words I know they are filled eith kindess, love and acceptance. These are gifts more beautiful and true than any other the world has to offer. I thank all you beautiful souls for your time, your lives and your love.

    • Angelic says:

      Hi D, I may have to disagree. The way I see it, YOU are a gift to the world even more beautiful & true than this letter is to you. We are so thankful to you for taking your time to join us. All the love, kindness, and acceptance is the least we can offer someone as precious as you. Let’s have some fun while you’re here!
      Much love, Mama Angelic

  20. Cassie says:

    I so wish I’d found this site a few years sooner during my coming out, which happened over the holiday season. Holidays are still complicated and even though I’m out on my own now, it’s still lovely to have a Holiday Family with open hearts. Many thanks for such kindness, Holiday Mom.

    • Angelic says:

      Hi Cassie, I’m sorry to hear that coming out was so hard for you and that the holidays are complicated instead of peaceful. I hope it helps to have us here. We sure love having you join us for all the fun & merriment! Big hugs, Love, Mama Angelic

  21. Hanna says:

    Thank you so much for this. This is my first year finding you mommy’s and I feel so welcomed by you. Thank you holiday mommy. <3

    • Angelic says:

      Hanna, So glad that you found us here! We were hoping you would. This is a place for love & hugs & laughter & peace, and it just wouldn’t be the same without you. Let’s have some pie and start a game.
      Much love, Mama Angelic

  22. Riley says:

    Thank you so much for your letter. It helped me zone out of the rush if the holiday season and calm me down. Spending time with my family isn’t always the easiest when you have to hide part of yourself. Thank you for giving me a virtual home where I feel loved and supported.

  23. Christina says:

    All of these letters- all of this love. So touching. So fulfilling. So tender. In my virtual way- I’m with you all, all the children, all the mother, all the homes and traditions. I love you all.

    Christina

  24. Cal says:

    Dear Holiday Mom,
    Thank you for the kindness you have shown me. It has been hard, but having this home, will always make me feel valid and loved. Each letter I receive fills me with this desperate desire to come out to my parents, so maybe this virtual home you offer me, can happen in reality. Unfortunately, I have transphobic parents who believe in conversion therapy, so coming out and living in a happy and loved home, would be impossible. I thank you for the love that you show me in these letters. I give you all of my love, in return. Thank you.
    Lots of Love.

  25. Melissa says:

    Dear Holiday Mom,

    This special day made me feel so much comfort and accepting in you’re family. Am really glad to have you as a mom that accepts for who I am. Even happy to have a sister to play with me.
    This really means a lot to me.

    Thank you Holiday Mom.

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