Dear Holiday Child:
Once again the holidays are upon us and while I am planning my activities and my menus, I’m thinking of you, and others like you who, for many possible reasons cannot be with your families or loved ones this year.
It may be because you’ve come out and your parents couldn’t deal with hearing that you’re LGBT or Q, or maybe your chosen partner is not accepted in your family home. It’s hard to leave behind those traditions, but I commend you. I think you are so brave for being true to yourself and standing up to those who would have you betray who you are in favor of making themselves feel more comfortable. It might help you to know that there are Moms out there like me, who would be proud to have you in my home to celebrate the holidays.
My husband and I live over 700 miles away from our adult kids, and it makes me very sad that I can’t be with them during the holidays. I make a point to call each one and remind them how loved they are. I want to remind you that you are loved as well. It’s bittersweet to hear their voices, and know that they are having a lovely holiday and I can’t be there with them. I know you must feel that way about your families as well.
Thanksgiving is not an expensive meal, but we invite everyone who has no other plans to stop by and share it with us. It’s rare that we have family visiting, so all of the “orphans” in the neighborhood are invited. Single people, people who have no family, young people who are estranged from their parents and those who have no other plans are encouraged to come share our table. We are grateful to be able to share love and encouragement to some of our lonely friends. I don’t always make turkey and a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but often prepare different ethnic meals to share. This year,I’ll be making tamales and some Mexican dishes that I love to prepare.
I live in the mountains and every year we go into the forest and cut down a small pine tree and drag it behind my horse back to the ranch. We decorate the house with lights and ornaments at Christmastime and hang our stockings above the wood stove that’s always burning to warm our home. I love the way the tree makes the house smell, and how the glowing lights transform our little house.
I make special treats for our pets and horses, and even though they have no idea of the date, they know that they are getting special love and attention from us. We often go to our neighbor’s on the day after Christmas and share all our leftover food with several of the families nearby. If you were with us, you could participate in the blessings we share throughout the holiday season with our friends, neighbors, and those in need in our community.
I sincerely hope that you find a new hope and tradition to share with a friend, partner or loved one this holiday season. If you can’t be home with your family, spend the holidays with your friends and chosen family. Make the holiday warm for someone else, and it will be warmer and more joyful for you.
I send you you warm hugs and gentle thoughts for a wonderful new year. I want you to know that I love you, and it does get better. You make it better by being in the world.
Your Holiday Mom