By Mikayla Denault
On the 12th day of Christmas my family gave to me, (sing along) 12 days of love, 11 families even-waking, 10 gingerbread families, 9 family memories, 8 rainbow candy canes, 7 family compliments, 6 Christmas songs, 5 CHAR-IT-IESSSS, 4 Christmas cards, 3 Hillary gifts, 2 rainbow houses, and one giant LGBT float.
From the song above, you may have guess that I’ve compiled a list of traditions for LGBT families to do every day for the arrival of Christmas. These traditions will prepare both your house as well as every heart in your family to be open to loving everyone this Christmas season. Here are the 12 days of Christmas traditions, LGBT edition.
- Create a pride float
A great way to start off the Christmas season is by participating in a local Christmas parade, and what’s better than creating a float that will spread awareness of the LGBT community and its values! Gather a group of willing people who can design and build a beautiful, festive float for a nearby parade. You can formulate a designs such as a float filled with rainbow hues, a human-sized LGBT gingerbread family, or other Christmas scenes that reflect your family and the LGBT community in a positive way.
- Decorate your house with rainbow accents
My family is one of those families who decorates their house to the point that it looks like Christmas threw up in it. A great idea for your children to celebrate your LGBT family more is decorating an atmosphere so that it is both visually and mentally inviting everyone, no matter what differences. You can add very meager accents such as having a line of rainbow stockings, having rainbow Christmas lights hung, or cooking festive rainbow cookies. You can also go all out by having a rainbow tree. Therefore, anyone who walks in your house can share a piece of your family throughout the holiday season.
- Give a Christmas gift/letter to Hillary Clinton
Christmas is a time of letting the people you love and care about know you appreciate and love them in beautiful ways. For all Hillary Clinton has done for us to reach equality in her campaign, write a letter or give a gift expressing your thanks for her amazing movement just like many families give a gift to Santa. Doing this will make her Christmas as well as yours a lot more special. Giving warms the hearts of the world.
- Make your Christmas card and caption it with reasons why you love your unique family
Just like my family Christmas picture, add a LGBT detail to personalize your Christmas card. Dare to be different amidst the cliché cards that are constantly arriving in your mailbox. Maybe even for the caption, list the favorite things about your family as well as your loved ones around you.
- Fund or start a charity for LGBT issues
Tis the season of giving and charities. Sacrifice time and money for a charity near and dear to your heart. Giving to a LGBT charity or creating your own can help tons of people who are going through the same thing you are in life. Whether it be saving thousands of people from committing suicide to preventing bullying, there is always some way you can give that will make you feel like you made a difference in a special way. You can make it a family project in which you can get a piggy bank and whenever someone makes a wrong decision, did something really good, or even just wants to give, can slip a dollar in. This idea can help your family both grow in kindness for others and save lives one coin at a time.
- Create your own Christmas song celebrating your LGBT pride
This tradition is mostly for the musical families yearning to use their talent to spread love and holiday cheer. I believe this tradition is one of the best for bringing families together because when you create a song with instruments, singing, and lyrics, you have to work together and listen to one another to form an amazing, finished piece. Also, this project can let everyone’s specific talents shine as well as their individuality. Is one person better at technology than singing? Have that family member create a music video and tape it. If someone is assigned a task that is unknown to them, this can uncover new passions. By creating a song with an overarching message of LGBT pride, you can spread this song and sing other traditional songs across your community by caroling. The kids will find the true meaning of what Christmas is about: giving, sacrificing, and loving everyone.
- Why I’m thankful for my family jar tradition
On the seventh day of Christmas my family gave to me, seven special sayings… On pieces of paper, write statement starters such as “The best thing about my family is…” Then, put them all into a jar and have every family member pick one out and finish the statement. This can help your family celebrate your diversity as well as reflect on memories that affected your family greatly — memories such as your parents getting married to that random time where you bought the biggest Christmas tree imaginable and regretted it greatly when it barely fit into your house.
- Rainbow candy cane tradition
Create a movement in your community with a single rainbow candy cane. During the day, assign one family member to do a good deed. Hand them a rainbow candy cane with a note attached that says, “Spread the love of the LGBT community. Do a kind deed, get another rainbow candy cane, and attach this note. Give the candy cane to the person who you gave the good deed to.” This wonderful deed can inspire a whole chain of people to spread love in the most giving season of the year.
- Read your own Christmas family story
Brainstorm together as a family to write a story about a crucial event of all of your lives. You can even enhance it by relating it to many LGBT families so it may even have the opportunity to be published. If you just want the story for Christmas night, try to make it into a Christmas theme or even make it rhyme. This book can be passed down your family as a treasured keepsake forever.
- Cook a personalized gingerbread family
Why not decorate a gingerbread family to resemble yours? Have each family member draw a name of another family member out of a hat so that they can decorate them. You can even have the decorator write one positive word that describes the family member on the cookie. Then, the decorator can give the cookie to the original owner and enjoy both the deliciousness of the cookie as well as the loving compliment that can grow the bond of your family even tighter.
- Wake up on an even number
The LGBT community’s main goal is equality. Even though this may sound fairly strange, waking up together on an equal number such as 6 A.M. will help you start your holiday on a perfect note, professing your belief in equality for all. This can bring your family together as one on the holidays as well. Also, if your family are late sleepers, you can set an alarm for 10 A.M. if needed. Starting this tradition can be a special thing for many LGBT families to share for generations to come.
- And finally, spread cheer and be GAY
As “Deck the Halls” proclaims, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la! Don we now our gay apparel, fa la la la la la la la la!” This season let’s all work together to spread Christmas love, equality, and joy to end injustices in society. May this season we celebrate our lives and the people around us so that we can find hope and faith everywhere we may roam.