Your Holiday Mom: Ma Jen

Hello and welcome! I know it is cold outside, so I’ll get you something to drink right away to help you warm up. Our orange tabby cat – named Ryan Seacrest because he always wants to be the center of attention – will also be more than happy to warm up your lap for you.

I hope you like games! We’ll play cards, or charades, or even Trivial Pursuit.  If you haven’t played before, we’ll show you. We’re not very good anyways; playing is mostly an excuse to relax, chat, and enjoy each other’s company.

How have you been lately? The good, the bad, the mundane – I want to hear it all. Your life is important to me.  I know the past year has been hard for many. But you are a shining star, and I just so love cheering for your personal triumphs. I love your stories, so please keep sharing them.

After a few hands of the game, my kiddo will be done being patient and will be demanding a dance party.  He’s five, and very persuasive, so I hope you will join in the fun. We’ll take turns picking the music, so think about what you want to add to the playlist. The kiddo is all about Abba and Lady Gaga, I enjoy 90’s pop, and my hubby will probably add some Frank Sinatra. So let’s dance and sing like the goofballs we are.

Is it alright if we wrap up the evening with a movie? You can choose what we watch. But there is just something so peaceful about watching a familiar movie, curling up under a bunch of blankets, and sitting in a comfortable silence surrounded by people who love you. And YOU, my darling, are loved.

Before you leave, I need to tell you something. I need to hold both of your hands, look into your eyes, and thank you. Thank you for being such a great role-model for my son. Thank you for showing him that living your true life is worth the risk. Thank you for showing him that bravery is continuing to put love out into the world, even after hard times. Thank you for showing him how brightly you shine, and inspiring him to do the same.

And finally, thank you so much for sharing your time with us. You bring so much to the celebration, and it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Stay warm out there, and know that we are thinking about you and looking forward to seeing you again.

With love,

Ma Jen

Your Holiday Mom: Momma B

Hi –

Gosh, it’s nice to see you.  Come on in, down the hallway to the kitchen.  We’re standing around the kitchen island, drinking eggnog and eating unhealthy stuff, and listening to Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra holiday music on the family room stereo.

We’re an arts-y bunch of music and theatre performers and teachers, so the conversation has mostly been about how crazy-busy we’ve all been in preparing and presenting programs in the weeks leading up to the holidays and, for those of us who do church music, how crazy it’s going to continue to be until Christmas Day afternoon.  We’ve laughed over the fact that some of us had our shopping done by November 1st and some of us will be scrambling out on December 24th to try to finish before we have to play or sing for Christmas Eve church services.

Just for the record (not to brag or anything), I’m one of the ones who was done on November 1st.  But I’ve been at this for a very long time.

The point here is to eat, drink, be merry, and celebrate the season and each other.  Laugh, talk, occasionally jump in and sing along with the music….”Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away…..”

Music and the arts unite us in so many ways and our wish is that we can help to bring peace and love to the world through our musical gifts.

I hope you’ll be able to listen to or be part of some holiday music and that you carry it in your heart through the season.

Can I get you some more eggnog?

You are loved.  Hugs all around.

Momma B.

Your Holiday Mom: Mummy Boo

Good morning my beautiful Holiday Child

I hope you slept well?  It’s great just you, Dad and I are the first ones awake (well, us and the cats). Let me make you breakfast while you tell us all your news – and the hopes you have for the coming year.

We’ll share what we’ve been up to, and can show you some of our photos from the past twelve months – our family trips, birthdays, and when your brothers started new schools.  We’ve felt like you were with us during those moments and think of you often. Especially during Pride this summer. It was a gorgeous sunny day, full of hope and happiness. As you weren’t there in person to carry our flag, your brothers carried it for you.  I say ‘carried’, ‘wild waving’ is probably a better description.

And talking of wild things, it sounds like your brothers are up! Nobody has got any quieter in this house since your last visit. And they’ll still want a big hug if you feel like one.

Want to head out? The Christmas Fair is on and we can enjoy winding our way through small cobbled streets, hearing the sounds of carol singers, and smell the roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.  Your brothers were hoping you’d help them do the Christmas trail around the town; then go with them to hear the storyteller in the library. Dad wants you to join him at the hot chocolate stall; and I’d love you pause for a moment with me in front of the beautiful tree shining brightly in the town square.  But as this day is all about you, you get to pick what you’d enjoy most. As it gets dark there’s a little parade with a band, Father Christmas, and a large dragon that breathes fire (none of us can work out what that has to do with Christmas but we’ll all agree it’s the best part of the day).

We feel so lucky you want to spend time with us, and I hope you’ll think back and remember today with a smile. If there are times in the next twelve months when you’re feeling alone, please remember you are very much part of a family that believes in you and wants the best for you.

Merry Christmas!

All our love Mummy Boo, Daddy Bill, your brothers, and the cats

Your Holiday Mom: Mom Nin

Hey Sweetie,

I hope you don’t mind that term of endearment. I call my own children “sweetie”, and I call their friends that too as they become part of our family. Welcome to the family! I know you’ll fit right in. My 30 year old daughter is asexual, one niece is in a poly-amorous relationship, and another is pan-sexual. Some of their friends are gay, trans, and gender queer. All of them are loved by us! Not to sound cliche, but really love is love.
Our Christmas traditions are a  mix of the old and the new. When I was a child I would come home from school one random day in December to a house all decorated for Christmas. Down came all of the usual knick knacks and in their place were Santas and Mrs Santas and elves and reindeer and garland strung everywhere. I carry on that tradition, and one might say that I go overboard. While I make the house festive my husband decorates the outside with lights. There is no such thing as too much Christmas at our house. We have a new home this year and I can’t wait to see how everything is going to look. I think it’s also time for new decorations 🙂
On the new side of things, we have a seafood feast for Christmas dinner. Thanksgiving has the turkey and all that, but at Christmas we head to the sea. My husband makes the best crab cakes and fried oysters, there are bowls of steamed shrimp and cole slaw (which he says you must have when you eat seafood) and the main course is a big pile of Maryland Blue crabs. Yes! Our family can sit down and pick crabs for hours. Have you ever done it? We can teach you, no problem. It’s one of my favorite things in the world, to sit around the family table with everyone’s hands all messy from Old Bay seasoning talking and laughing and picking and eating and washing it down with a cold drink.
As for you, my dear, I have no idea if you have any happy holiday memories or if it’s been difficult from the start. I want you to know that it’s okay to turn away from those who have hurt you, and it is also okay to try to stay connected with them. This is your life. You get to choose who you allow in. I read the other day that you have to decide who gets the privilege of knowing your secrets, your hurts, and your dreams. I know in the past that I have not always used discretion in those things,and it left me feeling even lonelier than I was when I started. My wish for you is that you have people in your life who are worthy of you and your story. You are precious to and oh so cherished by this mom. If I were there with you, you would get all the hugs you need.
Happy Holidays sweetie.
love,
Mom Nin

Your Holiday Mom: Sister Ruby

Dear holiday sibling,

Welcome, please come in out of that cold wind!  Here in the desert, we sadly don’t see regular snow or days of below zero temps, but that winter wind has a sharp bite nonetheless!  Come sit on the couch and tell me all about your day over some hot cocoa (or I have hot cider if you prefer) while we sort through my holiday CDs in preparation for our evening plans. I have everything from Enya to Trans-Siberian Orchestra to the Peanuts Christmas album!  We’ll really only need a couple, but feel free to fill the bag up with your choices.  If you’re still feeling chilly, I have blankets or you can snuggle with my Snowshoe.  She’s twelve pounds of sass but she loves everyone that comes through the door.
You are loved by myself and my family, and that not only includes my parents whom you’ll meet later in the week, but my online family as well.  Family is not limited to blood in my eyes, it also includes whomever I wish to include, and that means you as well!  I have two beautiful sisters – one in Michigan, the other in the UK; they’re waiting eagerly for our Skype session to meet you in “person”.  I also have a number of good online friends who are all over the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and more.  And for now they’ll just be text on a screen, but I know that they will come to love you as much as I do.
I cannot imagine how difficult the current environment of this world is for you.  Things have been changing and not for the better in some ways.  The future might look bleak or even nonexistent.  But please know that there IS a future for you, one that will be impacted by YOU and the beautiful, unique soul that you are.  You are as bright as the holiday star that our city lights up on a nearby eastern mountain every evening throughout the season.  You’ll see that star during our trip; it’s visible pretty much everywhere in town.  Speaking of which, grab those CDs you chose and your coat, and I’ll transfer our drinks into travel mugs.  It’s time to go!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is driving around to look at Christmas lights and I’ve been waiting all year to share it with you.  For a smaller town, we have some pretty impressive displays!  There’s the neighborhood that turns itself into “Candy Cane Lane”, where almost every yard has its giant candy cane in the corner by the driveway to accompany their personal decorations.  Next, we’ll head over to Veronica Court – the residents string lights overhead between the houses so visitors get to drive under a glowing canopy while they admire the individual decor of the homeowners.  All the displays, large and small, are beautiful to look at and fill me up with holiday cheer; I hope you feel that same cheer and carry it with you on the drive back home.
We’ll end our trip at my neighbor Tony’s house: he turns his house and front yard into a veritable Santa’s village–toys, “snow”, Santa and his elves–the works!  Wait until you see it.  And every year, he adds something new.  He’s always outside to greet visitors and he’ll be just as happy as everyone else to finally meet you.
Having you here is the highlight of my holiday.  And there’s so much more to come, not only for the season but for the coming year.  The world deserves to see your light, so let it shine!
with love,
your sister Ruby

Your Holiday Mom: Mommy Missy

My lovely Holiday Child,

The weather is changing slowly but surely around here, can you feel it?  That snap in the air that means it’s going to be time for jackets and scarfs and snuggling under a blanket and giggling while we all watch a movie.  Sis Cassie has already picked out a marathon of movies for us to watch while dinner cooks but I think the two of you need to come to an agreement that maybe an all horror movie line-up isn’t the thing to do before a holiday meal.  LOL

Sis Mer suggested something fun for after supper.  There’s a drive-through area totally decorated with lights and small houses for the holiday, and every donation goes to the local LGBTQ+ organizations.  How about we go through a few times?  I know how much you like looking at the lights and imagining what is happening in those houses.  I love hearing the stories you make up.  They *always* make me smile.  I’m amazed that I ended up with three children with so much love and life and laughter in their souls.

But this letter is for you, my very special child.  The you that sneaks up behind me when I’m baking so you can steal cookie dough.  The you that comes in to the bedroom and tells me to scootch over, so you can snuggle, decompress, and tell me about your day while I play with your hair or just hold you close.  The you that calls me whenever something good happens and also when the bad happens, because you know I’ll always make time to listen and help you as I am able.  The sound of your voice on my phone brightens my whole day and seeing you at the door unexpectedly makes it feel like ‘home’ again.  I’m so very, very proud of you and hope that even when we’re not close, you hold that in your heart.  There are people out here who love and cherish you more than you can even guess.

Be careful when you get here because your sisters have been plotting something all day.  All I know is that it involves giggles, confetti, some glue and a feather boa.  You might want to come in the back door instead (stay out of the cookie!  Those are for later during the movies).  I have a couple Super-Soakers hidden under the sink that you can use to surprise them instead.  *evil Momma grin*

Hurry, my darling child.  Get here as fast as you can so that my family is complete and whole.  Bring me your laundry and your problems and I’ll work on them.  Bring us your love and heart and we’ll reflect those back to you 1000%.  You are loved, you are adored, you are cherished, and you are *liked*, no matter what.  And if you have a friend that you want to bring this year, you know I always make way too much food and we can always put another chair at the table.  And remember that my love isn’t finite – there’s no limit to the number of people I can carry in my heart, so if you know anyone who needs a place to go with lights, laughter, warmth, food, giggles, hugs, and safety?  Bring them, and I’ll have more children to spoil.  I. Love. You.

Mommy Missy

 

P.S. Although your visit will be virtual know you will be with us in our hearts.

Your Holiday Mom: Mama Nadine

My Dearheart,

Welcome home! The cats have missed you—Greebo, that big black boy, has been keeping watch at the window waiting for you to show up, and Vatsya has been running around like crazy, excited to play with you again. Your other mama, Glenys, and I have been picking out movies to watch tonight over dinner—what are you in the mood for? We could snuggle up together with a blanket on the couch and watch something funny or scary or happy or sad—you get to pick.

I made lentil soup and biscuits for tonight. I know that’s not the most exciting, but now that you’re home, you can help me plan the meals. I was thinking about making those Russian dumplings, or pierogies, but we did just get a new steamer, so I could make steamed buns instead if that sounds better.

How is school? How are your friends? I know this is a complicated time in life, even if it has been a while since I’ve gone through it, so I want to know everything. When we’re apart, I think about you, and wonder how things are going, but I know you need space to make your own choices and grow on your own as much as you can. Things can be incredibly challenging sometimes, but often challenges show us the most about ourselves. Even so, I’ll always support you when things get too tough—always remember that you’re not alone and you have me and Mama Glenys in your corner championing you on.

Is there anyone special in your life right now? We won’t pry, but please know you can share that with us when you’re ready, and we’ll be so excited to meet them when you want to bring them home. Whoever they are, I hope they’re treating you with all the love that you deserve; all the love in the world.

Your mamas love you so much. We loved you when you were small and we love to watch you grow into the amazing person you’re becoming. The world is a weird and sometimes scary and difficult place, but you are a bright spot inside it, and every time you learn something new about yourself, we’re ready to hear about it, and share in your experience with you. Keep growing and keep showing us how incredible you’re going to be. The world needs people like you, my dearheart.

Love,
Mama Nadine

Your Holiday Mom: Mama Sarah

My dear Holiday Child,

Come in. Come in.  I’m so happy that you have made the journey to be with us this year.  I hope your travels were easy. I’ve made up the spare bedroom just for you.  There are fresh sheets and towels, and even a special little treat on your pillow.  I’ll help you carry in your things upstairs so you can unpack and make yourself at home.

Are you all settled in?  Oh good.  I imagine your little brother came in to “help.”  He has been waiting so long for you to be here, and you know how hard it is for a 5-year-old to be patient. He is dying to show you all of his latest inventions and creations, but I sent him to the store with his dad, so we can have just a few minutes together before the bustle begins.

Here, let me fix you a cup of hot coffee.  I picked up some peppermint sticks for stirring.  Did I ever tell you how when I was a child we would get peppermint sticks and oranges in our stockings and drink the juice straight from the orange through a peppermint stick straw?  My father would cut the hole and my mother would show us how to squeeze the orange to release the juice.  We did it every Christmas.  Maybe we can do that with your brother tomorrow morning over breakfast.  Do you still take your eggs scrambled?

I’ve been making caramel corn for weeks now, and there’s a tray of it cooling over there on the counter.  I make so many batches of it each year to give to all of our friends and family.  When it cools, will you help me pour it into jars and seal them up with ribbon?  Of course, you’ll have to taste a handful or two to make sure it’s good enough to give away.  It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.

While we are working, tell me about your year.  I’m so curious to hear about all of the changes and growth you’ve been through.  It was such a difficult year for me in so many ways, but sometimes I feel like the phoenix rising from the ashes—brighter for having survived the fire.  Tell me how the year treated you.  Are you feeling worried about the world?  About your own life?  Are you excited about something on the horizon?  Know that I am so proud of how you are navigating both the struggles and the joys of life.

Tell me about your work, your friends, your hobbies and passions.  Where do you spend your energy and the precious hours of each day?  Is there something or someone in your life that blinds you with its beauty?  What projects are you working on?  Who do you spend time with?  I hope that they surround you with the love and support you deserve.  And if they are loved by you, then know that they have my love as well.

Oh, I hear your brother and dad coming back from the store.  We better hurry up and seal this last jar of caramel corn before they come in and eat it all.  Will you help me take it around to some of our friends later?  I’ve been keeping them up to date on all the wonderful things you are doing, and they all want to give you a warm welcome home.

I hear your brother calling you to help him build something with legos.  I’ll be in to admire what you build as soon as I get this cleaned up.  Just give me a quick hug first.  I’m so glad you are here.

All my love,

Mama Sarah

Your Holiday Mom: Mama Ricky

Dearests,

Hannukah once again draws to a close. Eight nights, eight candles.

The miracle of light. A crazy ancient story about some oil running out.

All good – and yes, I did light my menorah every night thinking of your struggles, your fears, and your beautiful spirit that somehow manages to shine brightly even though everything seems dark. Big ideas.

But I like to think about small miracles too. Small steps of love and positive energy. Because sometimes it’s the little things that we can hold onto when the world seems against us. Hot chocolate. A baby in a stroller staring up at you while you’re on line at the drug store. Square breathing. (Inhale four counts, hold four counts, exhale four counts – game changer.) Did I mention dark chocolate?

I’ll let you in on a secret – even those totally together kids, even those annoying popular kids – even your parents – NO ONE has it all “together.” Everyone feels like a mess a lot of the time. And when their mess happens to them, they lash out at anyone who doesn’t fit their mold of “normal.” If you follow the dots, their anger, their bullying, their lack of acceptance – it’s THEIR shortcoming, not yours. You’re just being beautiful you. I know that! And so do the people who truly love and accept you. If only I could hug each and every one of you and tell you to just ignore – even pity –  those people who don’t understand. I wish we could all just ignore short-sighted people who only see their own fear when they see something that’s new or unfamiliar. Trouble is, they’re in our own family sometimes. Certainly in government.

Here’s a lesson worth trying to learn. (It’s not easy.)

Take NOTHING personally.

Remember these things always:

You are loved and valued.

You have a beautiful spirit.

This chapter in your life will not last forever – I promise.

I am sending you a virtual hug right this very minute.

When in doubt, dark chocolate.

Please write me back and tell me your favorite kind of chocolate – for me, the darker the better! And let me know how you’re doing. I will always write back – even after the holiday season.

Sending love and hugs,

Mama Ricky

Your Holiday Mom: Mom Lisa

My sweet beautiful Holiday Child…

I am so happy you are here!  Come on in and take off your coat, it’s freezing out there!  Look, I have a seat just for you right next to the fire place and right next to me. Our tree is up now, do you like it?  It is not a fancy matchy- matchy tree, it has ornaments and hand made doo-dads from all over.  Here’s one just for you!  It’s a HEART.   Oh Rufus!  My God this dog sometimes, but he just loves you and is super excited you are here too. Ahhhh, there we are.  You can have some hot apple cider or hot chocolate, you pick! Your Holiday Dad and two sisters, Ellie and Ayana are coming in just a second, but before they do I have something I want to say just for you.

I love you SO MUCH.  I love ALL OF YOU, just the way you are!  You are stronger than you will ever know and I am SO PROUD to call you my Holiday child.  Just know that when you are feeling lonely or sad, that you can always come right back here, to your place by the fire right next to me with our dog curled up at your feet.  Let me give you a hug, is that alright?  Can you feel it?  Okay, enough of the serious stuff, let’s have some fun!

Here are your Holiday Dad Regan and your sisters!  Let’s go downstairs and play some games! We love board games, like Ticket To Ride.  Watch out, though, because Regan your Holiday Dad is very competitive and he will take us all out!

Next we are going to all play some music together!  Do you play an instrument?  If you do, take it out and play along!  If you don’t just SING at the top of your lungs!  We will do that for a couple of hours.  SO MUCH FUN, and even MORE fun because YOU ARE HERE WITH US!

Alright, PYJAMA TIME!  We are all getting in our pj’s and going to watch our holiday traditional movie, Polar express.  Yes, I know, we are all too big for it now, but we don’t care!  Dad still cries every time, but will blame it on dust in the air, “Stupid dust.”  He will say every single time.

To end our night we will watch Sponge Bob Christmas and eat our fill of all of the baking, or rather all of the baking we have left that we’ve been eating for two weeks!  We have cookies that still need decorating, let’s do that now!

Now that we are all done it’s time to snuggle up and just hang out for a quiet bit before sleeping.  I am so happy you came, WE ALL ARE!  Please come every single year, we’ll be waiting for you!

Love you to the moon and back,

Mom

Xo