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6 Inclusive Ways to Prepare for the Holidays as an LGBTQ+ Family

Updated: Feb 12

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Hanging mistletoe, wrapping presents, decorating the house for holiday cheer, or even lighting the menorah. The holidays can be a lovely, fun time for the whole family — but also a little stressful. As an LGBTQ+ family, it’s especially important to know how to prepare, so you can truly enjoy the season most.

After all, this time of year is for joy, showing love, togetherness, and celebration. For gay moms and families, we want to help make sure your festive preparations are as stress-free, inclusive and heartwarming as possible.

How to Identify Stress

First things first: when it comes to the holidays, know what stress looks like before it even begins — and how to identify good stress vs. bad stress so that you can prepare for and enjoy the season.

“Did you know there is actually “good” stress? The overarching benefits of good stress come from feeling hopeful and successful,” Susan Harrington, a licensed marriage and family therapist says, “This happens when we identify what is meaningful about the holiday event. Then we add good, healthier, and happier years to our life.”

According to a Mayo Clinic article with Dr. Safia Debar, stress is a physical and psychological reaction to a demand, and that demand can be anything. And there is stress that is good for us (and bad) and the good may give us a sense of well-being, while the opposite of distress.

"It's about the perception of that stress and how your body is actually handling it," Dr. Debar says. "Chronic stress will impact every organ system in the body: You might feel anxiety, depression and digestive issues, for example."

If you can identify stress, you can learn to focus on what matters. We’ve given you these six tips on preparing for the holidays with love and pride, below, too.

1. Create Inclusive LGBTQ+ Family Holiday Traditions

Start by incorporating traditions that reflect your unique family dynamics. Whether it's creating a special LGBTQ+ ornament, designing a custom holiday card, or having a festive rainbow-themed decoration, make sure your traditions embrace and celebrate your identity.

2. Limit your Stress Through Communication

When it comes to gatherings, we know that the holidays can sometimes be especially stressful. But the key to managing holiday stress as a family is through communication. First, you can start with asking yourself, or your partner, about expectations: how do we want this trip to look? What do we want to do?

It can also be helpful to:

  • Start by setting clear expectations and boundaries.

  • Prioritize your self-care and quality time as a couple to maintain your connection amidst the holiday chaos.

  • Discuss family dynamics openly and support each other through potentially challenging situations.

Open communication is key. Reach out to family and friends early to discuss any concerns or expectations and share your plans for the holiday season — this will not only create an inclusive tone, but a game plan for the festivities.

3. Host Inclusive Gatherings

Who doesn’t love a fun holiday gathering? If you're into hosting, make a holiday party your own by inviting your chosen family and friends. Create a welcoming space for everyone. It can even be fun to make it a family affair, by having your partner and little ones decorate the house with pride flags, create inclusive signage, and provide gender-neutral restrooms. It’s a great way to encourage your guests (and you) to bring their authentic selves to the celebration.

4. Support LGBTQ+ Businesses

Nothing says family fun like shopping small and supporting a cause you care about. This year, consider supporting LGBTQ+ businesses when shopping for gifts, decorations, and holiday treats. By doing so, you not only contribute to your community, but also promote inclusivity and diversity during the festive season.

Here are some of our favorite places to buy from:

  • Queer Candle Co.: A queer power couple started Queer Candle Co. — making candles together — and now, the company has grown exponentially. Get a special candle to make your house warm and cozy or give one as a gift.

  • Diaspora Co.: Diaspora is a direct-to-consumer spice company, that also happens to be queer-owned. Cook your favorite meal with their spices or give it to your grandmother as a holiday present.

  • Gay Moms Club: Shop Gay Moms Club merch and support our growing community of LGBTQ+ moms.

5. Educate and Advocate

Although the holidays can be a little stressful, it can also be a time to take advantage of the moments you have with folks who aren’t as versed in LGBTQ+ issues. For example, if someone makes an off-color comment, or your one aunt is just asking questions out of curiosity you can be the one to share informative articles, books, or documentaries that promote understanding and acceptance. While it’s not solely your job to educate others, if you have the bandwidth, you can use the holiday spirit to foster open conversations and advocate for inclusivity.

6. Prioritize Self-Care

The holiday season can be hectic, so don't forget to prioritize self-care. According to Harrington, it’s essential to take care of yourself in a time that can be so busy and hectic.

“Whether it's taking a break, practicing mindfulness, or having a quiet moment with your loved ones, make sure you're taking care of your mental and emotional well-being.”

Remember, the holidays are a time to celebrate love and connection. By embracing your identity and fostering inclusivity, you can create meaningful and joyous memories for your LGBTQ+ chosen family, your partner, your little ones, and yourself, during this festive season.


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