I know the holiday season, whichever holiday you celebrate, can be a tough time, a lonely time.
The thought that you are out there, maybe on your own or surrounded by people who don’t understand, or don’t want to understand what you have been through and maybe still are going through, saddens me.
So, this year, join me and my family in our Christmas! Now, I’ve experienced basically three different Christmases: Christmas with my biological family, with my step family and Christmas with my in-laws. I’ll just run you through all three – you take your pick where you want to go this Christmas. Or even if you have a different idea altogether, it’s all open to change!
In my biological family, we meet up at my mum’s. For you and me, that’s quite a drive, but we’ll happily make it – trust me, it’s worth it! Once we get there, the rest of the family arrives, dragging food, chairs and a huge table along. Prepare for some hugs and kisses; everyone will be so happy to see you there. We all contribute a little to the dinner; you could join in if you want, or help me make my signature cake (I’ll share the recipe with you)! Before we eat, we’ll catch up. Everyone will be asking you questions too: where have you been, where are you going? It’s alright if you haven’t figured that out yet, it took us a long time to figure out what we wanted to do too. And some of us are still unsure about it! After catching up, we’ll make the last preparations and set the table. In between the courses, everyone has to pitch in and do some dishes. We could team up if you’d like. I’ll give you the choice: washing or drying? I don’t mind either. I’ll ask if you’re having a good time (I really hope so!), and remind you that you are welcome to be who you are here. We’re an open family and we love you no matter what. During the whole dinner, my family will get a bit loud. I hope you don’t mind. We don’t really do gifts, but as I’m so happy to have you here, I’ll get you something regardless. Something small, something personal. I’ll probably spend the whole year trying to think of the perfect gift, something that suits you and will remind you of the family you have here. After dinner is over, the family will be departing, everyone has to get home, and will be told to drive safely. I’ll give you the choice: we can either make the long drive home, or stay around my mum’s for the night.
With my step family, things are a little different. We meet at my step-mum’s house; the whole family gets together there. We’ll talk about anything and everything, whatever you want to talk about. Anything goes, so feel free to speak your mind. My biological dad makes the dinner – he’s a fantastic cook! There’s something for everyone, so don’t worry about having to eat something you don’t like. You can pick what you like and eat as much as you want. My step-mum will have got you a book of some sorts, and like the rest of us, you’ll be asked to open it at a random page and read out a small bit. Even if you don’t like reading, she’ll find you something that suits you!
With the in-laws, it’s more of a “typical British Christmas”: my mother-in-law makes a fantastic Christmas dinner: a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, all kinds of vegetables – you name it, it will probably be there. There will be a lot of presents underneath the tree. Knowing me and my mother-in-law, most of them will be for you. We like to spoil our children, and this year and any other that you choose to join us, that includes you. I will try my best, but her presents will best mine any day – she’s just that awesome. We will have dinner, watch some tv, unwrap the presents and share stories, experiences. We’ll have a laugh, we’ll have a cry, anything goes!
One thing all these family get-togethers have in common is that the family is accepting. We accept you, your decisions. Your dreams, your hopes, your fears and your flaws. Everything and everyone is welcome, we won’t judge you, we accept you. If there is a special someone in your life, they are welcome too!
At the end of the holidays, you’ll probably have to get back to your life. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but you’ll have loving memories to keep you warm in dark, lonely times and our support and our love continually, in the good times and the bad.
I know holidays can be tough, but this season, know that you are in my thoughts, in my heart and in my family. I’ll light a candle for you each day, that you might find what you’re looking for and live life the way you want to.
Know that I love you and think of you, my wonderful child,