LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

HOLIDAY
 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Happiest Season: New LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith

Jimmy Fallon & Friends: Wonderful Christmas Time

Shawn Hayes: Jingle Bells

That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Xmas Queens: Let it Snow

SNL: I Wish it Was Christmas Today

Speedo Santas in Boston

Dashing in December: Gay Cowboy Christmas Romance

Jingle Bells with Boxer Shorts

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Steve Grand: All I Want for Christmas is You

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lesbian Version

Glee: Baby It's Cold Outside

Randy Rainbow: New Christmas Music Album

 

Season's Greetings

 

Best wishes and much love to you from the Queer Cafe! Tis the season to be jolly! Happy Holidays! Yuletide Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! Here's wishing you joy and peace during this winter season and much health and happiness in the new year!

 

Happiest Season: Queering Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Mary Lambert

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

So This is Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Jimmy Fallon & Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You

Dolly Parton: Hard Candy Christmas

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Supreme Fabulettes: You Ruined My Xmas

Stairway to Christmas

Indina Mansel and Michael Buble: Baby It's Cold Outside

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Jingle Bells by Pentatonix

Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas
Coming Out for Christmas

Your Holiday Mom

Sarah McLachlan: River
Univ Conn Funky Dawgs: Jingle Bells

 

 

Holiday Films with LGBTQ Theme

--Happiest Season - Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Mary Holland, Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Ana Gasteyer

--Season of Love -  Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Jessica Clark, Emily Goss

--Dashing in December - Juan Pablo Di Pace, Peter Porte

--The Christmas House - Jonathan Bennett, Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence

--Home for the Holidays - Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning

--Holiday Heart - Ving Rhames

--Make the Yuletide Gay - Keith Jordan, Adamo Ruggiero

--The Family Stone - Sarah Jessica Parker,  Dermott Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton

--Love the Coopers - Olivia Wilde, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei

--Too Cool for Christmas (A Very Cool Christmas) - George Hamilton, Brooke Nevin, Donna Mills

--Holiday in Handcuffs - Melissa Joan Hart

--Scrooge and Marley - Richard Knight Jr, Peter Neville  (Directors)

--Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special - Paul Ruebens, Charo, Joan Rivers, KD Lang, Little Richard, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cher

 

Happiest Season: New LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Spice Up the Season: Best LGBTQ Holiday Movies

Movies That Queered Christmas

Hallmark's LGBTQ Christmas Movie

Merry and Gay: LGBTQ Holiday Films

Lifetime Movie Network: LGBTQ Holiday Films
 

 

Surviving the Holidays

A lot of LGBTQ people hate this time of year. Holidays are a stressful time. They tend to be full of obligations, responsibilities and, of course, relatives. Because of the varying views on homosexuality, holidays can be particularly stressful for the LGBTQ community.

For some people it is difficult because they are not out. The endless conversations regarding your single status (your not getting any younger you know). Your mother's updates on every perspective bachelor in the county. Endless questions about your "roommate." Or, the separate holiday, where you and your partner head off to your families of origin to be traumatized alone, then return later to exchange horror stories over much deserved cocktails.

For some people holidays are stressful because they are out: the looks, the whispers, the really uncomfortable obligatory hugs, and your father's visibly painful handshake with your "special friend." It can make you tense just thinking about it.

 

 

Mental Floss: Winter Holiday Tradition Origins

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Star Trek's Picard: Let It Snow

Mean Girls: Jingle Bell Rock

Pentatonix: Little Drummer Boy

Progressive Christmas Carols

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Queer Christmas: Documentary Film Celebrates Inclusion

Wham: Last Christmas

12 Gays of Christmas

La Voix and London Gay Big Band: All I Want for Xmas is You

Santa on the Rooftop by Jenna and Ally

Queen: Thank God it's Christmas
Couple of Misfits

 

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

London Gay Men's Chorus: Coming Out at Christmas

Straight No Chaser: 12 Days of Christmas

Washington DC Gay Men's Chorus: Hallelujah

Seattle Gay Men’s Chorus: Santa Baby

Straight No Chaser: Christmas Can Can

Boston Gay Men's Chorus: All I Want for Christmas is You

Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus: Santa Baby
Straight No Chaser: Who Spiked the Eggnog?

Queer Black Christmas

 

 

Holiday Wishes

 

As many people around the world pause to celebrate the holidays, they try to express hope and optimism for today and the days ahead. The past year has not been entirely joyful. It has seen a great deal of despair, suffering, and hatred. But it has also seen growth, opportunity, and progress, and pockets of peace and hope.

 

It's hard to be happy amidst so much sadness. It can sometimes to difficult to convey holiday cheer when you're surrounded by gloom and misery. But, gathering together with family and friends, in the company of those who love and understand you, can be a good start. It can be very therapeutic to connect with those who have shared your grief, and together recall the good times, celebrate the small victories, and be grateful for glimmers of peace and hope.

 

Best wishes to you as you seek joy and choose to carry hope with you today and into the new year and bring peace and understanding to your own corner of the world.

 

 

Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cups Include Same Sex Couple

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gender Non-Conforming Kids

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Gay Christmas

Holiday Shopping According to Your Values

Ten Ways to Queer Up Christmas

Holiday Gift Guide: LGBTQ Friendly Kid's Books

Queer Nativity Scenes

Microsoft Celebrates the Spirit of the Season

The Queerest Christmas Songs

 

 

 

LGBTQ Families Celebrate Christmas Too

Supporting LGBTQ Equality During Hanukkah

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

GLAAD: Kwanzaa is the Black LGBTQ Community

Gay Jewish Hip Hop Artist Stands Up for LGBTQ Inclusion During Hanukkah

Eight Gay Jewish Women for Hanukkah

Using Kwanzaa Principles to Build a Strong Black LGBTQ Community

Christmas Morning: Gay Family Values

Celebrating Kwanzaa in the Black LGBTQ Community

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

8 Ways LGBTQ Families Can Deepen the Meaning of Hanukkah

Gingerbread Hearts: Six Lesbian Christmas Stories

LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

 

 

Letter to Santa

"Dear Santa, Do you support the LGBTQ community?  And if you can speak to God, can you tell him I love him, and if he loves me for being gay? Thank you. Love, Will."

 

Will mailed this letter to the North Pole, and it's been intercepted by the US Post Office and included in the USPS's Operation Santa. USPS Operation Santa, in its 108th year, takes letters mailed to Santa and shares them online, allowing individuals and organizations to 'adopt' them and fulfill Christmas wishes, which could be for anything from toys to basic necessities. In 2019, more than 11,000 packages were sent to people who wrote to Santa and had their letters adopted.

 

Social media reaction was heartfelt...

--Who is telling these queer children that Santa does not love them?
--That is the most heartbreaking thing. And the worst part is that if this kid is asking this, then there is a huge chance he might not be receiving the love he needs

--Oh my goodness! God loves you with his entire heart! Don't listen to the haters out there, kiddo!
--Dear Will, Santa does support the LGBTQ community because he has special helpers to make sure they know they are loved. I promise.
--With my whole heart, I want to find and protect and give a big hug to Will.
--No one, especially kids, should ever have to question if they're being loved for being themselves.


Other gut-wrenching letters included in this year's program came from little Julian, who asked for more money for his parents as they are having a rough time paying the bills, and Kayla, who asked Santa for a sofa bed for her parents who currently sleep on the couch in their one-bedroom apartment.

[Source: Daily Mail, November 2020]

 

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

US Post Office: Operation Santa

Your Holiday Mom: Video Message

 

Holiday Tips for LGBTQ People

The holidays can be a stressful time for LGBTQ people or families with LGBTQ members, but there are several strategies that you can use to help reduce stress and create a happy holiday this year. If you have the holiday blues, here are helpful tips for surviving holiday stress and depression.

Feeling stressed and/or depressed lately? You’re not alone. The holiday season is reported to be “problematic” for about forty-five percent of the general population, and there may be added concerns for LGBTQ persons.

 



There is often so much pressure to be joyous and to share “the most wonderful time of the year”. It can be especially hard for those of us who feel wounded by the various Ghosts of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa Past. Family and work dynamics can be hard at the best of times, during the holiday season it can reach a torturous crescendo:

--I can’t stand so-and-so, and they’re going to be at Grandma’s for dinner.
--I do not want to go to church with the family, but I’m more upset by the thought of dealing with the fallout of not going.
--I just know that bible-thumper at work thinks I’m going to hell. The office party is always a nightmare.
--I’m going to have to fend off all the questions of why I’m not married.
--If they knew the truth, I’d be fired (disowned, disgraced).
--I’m bringing my partner, and this is the first time. I’m worried that they’ll say or do hurtful things.
 


 

Yep. All familiar. But there are some things to keep in mind when dealing with the stresses of the Holiday Season.

Remember, you’re not alone. “Forced fun” with co-workers, family and extended circles of families and friends happens to everybody. Many people, straight, gay and otherwise feel that they aren’t part of the celebration because they don’t feel particularly festive or “in the Christmas Spirit”. The pressure to have fun, be nice and ignore grudges and difficulties can result in the completely opposite effect. Not out to family, co-workers or friends? This can dramatically increase holiday stress. Maintaining a front and keeping secrets is hard.

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

Home for the Holidays: Survival Tips for LGBTQ Couples

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Home for the Holidays With a Gay Twist
LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings
How to Beat the Gay Holiday Blues
Gay Ole Holiday Stress

For LGBTQ People, Holidays Can Be a Time of Added Stress
 

 

Gay Couples Confront Holiday Stress

Homo for the Holidays: Survival Guide
Going LGBTQ to the Holiday Office Party

LGBTQ Tips for Holiday Stress

Tips for LGBTQ Folks for Managing Holiday Anxiety

Loneliest Time of the Year

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Tips for Surviving the Holidays if You Don't Like Your In-Laws

 

Mostly, our day-to-day lives are lived with people who care for and support us emotionally. We’ve created our own families. We’ve created routines that encourage and nurture us. We’ve developed our own beliefs. The holidays can totally upset that. Even the mentally healthiest among us can be challenged by relatives and parents, regardless of acceptance or support. Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.”
 

And even if we are out, during the holidays we’re often surrounded by people who may be biologically related or who share the same work, but who do not support us, or who are even openly hostile. Whether this is true or simply a suspicion or feeling, it still causes anxiety, which causes increased stress levels which often leads to some very depressing thoughts. A very slippery slope mentally.

 

 


What to do? If your particular situation seems to be causing problematic stress or depression, please seek out professional help. But for those relatively-minor-once-a-year issues, below are a few suggestions I have found helpful. Please feel free to add your own:

--Be aware of your anxiety. Notice when your tension levels are rising, and let yourself feel them. Feelings never hurt anybody. The actions resulting from those feelings are the real kicker, and quite often those actions happen because feelings are so bottled up that the pressure forces an explosion. Often, simply noticing and naming the anxiety can calm it.

--Breathe. Under stress, the breath is often shallow, keeping oxygen levels at a minimum which just adds more stress. As simple as it sounds, three deep, conscious breaths can bring instant relief, slowing the heart rate, reducing hypertension and anxiety levels.

--“Is that true?” That question has been my lifesaver in many situations. My brain can run amok with fantasies of what people will say or do in response to me, things that I can’t possibly know for certain. Anxiety levels rise in the face of uncertainty. This simple question slows my thoughts and brings me back to the facts.

--Be here now. Most stress involves either the past or the future. Both are perspective distortion agents. Staying in the here and now reduces stress.


 

--Resist the urge to self-medicate. Most people eat and drink more and exercise less than they normally would at this time of year. If you’re prone to depression already (and even if you’re not), a hangover and love handles won’t help. Plus, alcohol, a depressant, may seem to help for a while, but usually worsens depression and stress symptoms later on. It also reduces inhibitions, making hurt feelings, disagreements and fights much more likely.

--Give yourself an out. If you have to spend an extended amount of time with family, work some down time into the schedule. Removing yourself from the situation can be vital, and it can be done gracefully. “I just need some alone time” is something that almost anyone will respect. There are lots of reasons to be alone- get creative. A short walk, a hot shower, a nap, an AA meeting, or even extended time behind the locked door of a bathroom can do amazing things to renew self-confidence, perspective and energy.

--Remember, this is temporary. Most of us can survive anything for a few days. If you’re in a situation that you feel you may not be able to handle well, by all means, get out! But if staying will do less damage to yourself and others than leaving, remembering the finite nature of the visit may help.

 

 


--Take care of yourself. You know what you need to do to be healthy. Eat well, exercise, hydrate, rest, play and give yourself permission to be human.

No matter what the situation, my greatest stressor is worrying about something I have little or no control over. Recognizing that is key. People are going to think what they think, and my thoughts or actions will probably not change that in the short amount of time I have to spend with them during the holiday season. Whether they approve of me or not is none of my business (my business is to be happy, honest, kind, and healthy) and I can do it. I do it by knowing myself and taking care of myself.

[Source: D Gregory Smith, Gay, HIV+, Native Montanan, Former Priest, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Executive Director, AIDS Outreach, Bozeman MT]

 

Christmas Isn’t For Queers

Loneliest Time of the Year

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Queer Christmas: Documentary Film Celebrates Inclusion

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Ten Ways to Queer Up Christmas

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Video: Your Holiday Mom

Letters: Your Holiday Mom

 

 

Your Holiday Mom

Here are some lovely holiday messages to LGBTQ people who might be estranged from their family. For LGBTQ people whose relationship with their parents and siblings is strained or hostile, these posts from surrogate moms might bring some measure of holiday cheer.

 

--Honey, I can’t even tell you how happy I am to have this time with you. Your smile lights my world, and I am so proud of you.  This holiday season, I have many hopes and dreams for you. I hope you will know how precious and beautiful you are inside and out, just the way you are. I also hope you know that you are one in a million. There is no one else on this earth who is quite like you, and you have special gifts and talents to share with this world. And, I hope that you will follow your dreams, and share them with others. This world needs the love, compassion, and kindness that are in you, and I know that it is already a better place because you are in it.

 

 

--You are so loved. Just the way you are, beautiful and whole. A gift to us and this world. Tonight, I like to think about all the good things that have happened.  This year I am thankful for you, my precious child. So look up.  Feel the cold wind on your face, the warmth of my arms around you.  The Christmas lights from our neighbor’s house have colored the snow.  Music and laughter can be heard in the distance and from inside.  Everyone who matters to me is happily under my roof, that includes you.  Tonight, there is nothing but laughter and love.  Tonight there is peace.  This is the magic of Christmas to me.

 

--My darling child, I know this year has been a tough one, and I am so glad that you’re still okay.  I just wanted to take a moment to tell you, you are loved. You are perfect. You are cherished. Life won’t get easier, but you will get stronger.  You are so brave and I just don’t have words to express how proud of you I am. So be at peace my sweet child and know you are loved. Many Blessings for a brighter new year.

 

 

--Dearest child of my heart, this time is special because you are with me and we are celebrating your life. For me, this time of year is about loved ones celebrating life together. I celebrate you and I always will. You are such a gift to this world. You have the ability to give love as only you can, to make a difference in this world. I know it’s been confusing, scary, frustrating, lonely, and so many other feelings that seem too big. I know this last year probably was especially scary for you, because the Earth has been hurting and in some places, very bad people are hurting others like you. I know that there are people in your life that don’t understand the joy that is you. I know that you may not understand why they are that way. To be honest, I never have understood it either. Know that I get you. Know that I see you. Know that I believe in you, support you, and love you just as you are. Love is love and has no boundaries. It knows no gender, race, skin color, religion, age, or nation. It belongs to all living beings. I’m here when you feel alone, I’m here when you need a hug, I’m here when you need to drown out the bad in your head. Hear me singing to you. Feel the warmth of my arms around you as my chin rests on your head while I sing. Listen to my heart beat with the music. Know you are home and safe. Much love to you, precious one.

 

 

 

--For me, the greatest gift of the season is to witness your becoming who you are, such a beautiful soul! Oh, how I love to see your face and notice how you’ve changed since the last time we saw each other.  I love the way you wear your own personal style!  I want you to know that my heart bursts with love to see you develop into the unique person that you are.  Tell me about what you have been doing, what you want to learn about, where you’d like to visit, or do one day. What brings you the greatest joy in life?  I want to share in that with you, dear one. I also want to hear about the challenges and the things that worry you.  You are not alone. I am here to listen with open arms and an open heart.  Please know that on the day I became a Mom, a love deeper than any ocean and wider than any imaginable universe was born in my heart!  My dear child, this love extends to you with so much warmth and acceptance.  I love you always and forever, no matter what and because of everything that you are.

 

 

--I want you to see yourself the way I do, as someone to be cherished, and valued, and nurtured, and protected, as someone who is worthy and worthwhile, as someone who deserves all the best that life can offer. I want you to see the you that can survive being judged, or being bullied, or being ignored. I want you to see the you that has allies and friends and family. I want you to see yourself as someone who is greatly loved. My gift to you this holiday season is a promise: I will fight for you. I will use my voice and my heart to make sure you aren’t forgotten or ignored. I will hold you, and love you, and I will always, always, set a place at my table for you. In a world that’s sometimes harsh and ugly, you are a beacon of light. You are welcome in this family. Always. You are welcome in my life. Always.

 

[Source: Your Holiday Mom]

 

Happiest Season: Queering Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Mary Lambert

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

So This is Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Jimmy Fallon & Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You

Dolly Parton: Hard Candy Christmas

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Supreme Fabulettes: You Ruined My Xmas

Stairway to Christmas

Indina Mansel and Michael Buble: Baby It's Cold Outside

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Jingle Bells by Pentatonix

Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas
Coming Out for Christmas

Your Holiday Mom

Sarah McLachlan: River
Univ Conn Funky Dawgs: Jingle Bells

 

Queer Writer of Christmas Carols

Christina Georgina Rossetti was a 19th-century English poet whose work ranged from Christmas carols to sensuous lesbian love poetry. A devout Christian who never married, she has been called a “queer virgin” and “gay mystic.” Her feast day is April 27 on the Church of England calendar.

 



Many consider her to be one of Britain’s greatest Victorian poets. Rossetti’s best-known works are the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Goblin Market,” a surprisingly erotic poem about the redemptive love between two sisters who overcome temptation by goblins. The homoeroticism is unmistakable in verses such as these:

She cried, Did you miss me? Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises, Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew. Eat me, drink me, love me.
She clung about her sister, Kiss’d and kiss’d and kiss’d her…
She kiss’d and kiss’d her with a hungry mouth.

Some of these verses were set to music in a choral piece commissioned by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir: “Heartland” by Matthew Hindson.

 



There is no direct evidence that Rossetti was sexually involved with another woman, but historian Rictor Norton reports that her brother destroyed her love poems addressed to women when he edited her poetry for publication. Rossetti is included in “Essential Gay Mystics” by Andrew Harvey. A comprehensive chapter titled “Christina Rossetti: The Female Queer Virgin” appears in “Same Sex Desire in Victorian Religious Culture” by Frederick S. Roden. Rossetti is also important to feminist scholars who reclaimed her in the 1980s and 1990s as they sought women’s voices hidden in the church’s patriarchal past.

Rossetti 1830-1894) was born in London as the youngest child in an artistic family. Her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti became a famous Pre-Raphaelite poet and artist. Encouraged by her family, she began writing and dating her poems starting at age 12.

When Rossetti was 14 she started experiencing bouts of illness and depression and became deeply involved in the Anglo-Catholic Movement of the Church of England. The rest of her life would be shaped by prolonged illness and passionate religious devotion. She broke off marriage engagements with two different men on religious grounds. She stayed single, living with her mother and aunt for most of her life. During this period she served as the model for the Virgin Mary in a couple of her brother’s most famous paintings, including his 1850 vision of the Annunciation, “Ecce Ancilla Domini” (“Behold the Handmaid of God”).

 



Starting in 1859, Rossetti worked for 10 years as a volunteer at the St. Mary Magdalene “house of charity” in Highgate, a shelter for unwed mothers and former prostitutes run by Anglican nuns. Some suggest that “Goblin Market” was inspired by and/or written for the “fallen women” she met there.

“Goblin Market” was published in 1862, when Rossetti was 31. The poem is about Laura and Lizzie, two sisters who live alone together and share one bed. They sleep as a couple, in Rossetti’s vivid words:

Cheek to cheek and breast to breast, Lock’d together in one nest.

But “goblin men” tempt them with luscious forbidden fruit and Laura succumbs. After one night of indulgence she can no longer find the goblins and begins wasting away. Desperate to help her sister, Lizzie tries to buy fruit from the goblins, but they refuse and try to make her eat the fruit. She resists even when they attack and try to force the fruit into her mouth. Lizzie, drenched in fruit juice and pulp, returns home and invites Laura to lick the juices from her in the verses quoted earlier. The juicy kisses revive Laura and the two sisters go on to lead long lives as wives and mothers.

“Goblin Market” can be read as an innocent childhood nursery rhyme, a warning about the dangers of sexuality, a feminist critique of marriage or a Christian allegory. Lizzie becomes a Christ figure who sacrifices to save her sister from sin and gives life with her Eucharistic invitation to “Eat me, drink me, love me…” The two sisters of “Goblin Market” are often interpreted as lesbian lovers, which means that Lizzie can justifiably be interpreted as a lesbian Christ.

 



Rossetti was an important inspiration to a younger English poet who is also frequently considered queer because of his homoerotic themes: Gerard Manley Hopkins. Fourteen years younger than her, he was a Catholic convert and a priest. They shared a passion for religious poetry and met in person once, in 1864.

In 1872 Rossetti was diagnosed with Graves Disease, an auto-immune thyroid disorder, which caused her to spend her last 15 years as a recluse in her home. She died of cancer in 1894 at age 64.

She wrote the words to “In the Bleak Midwinter” in 1872 in response to a request from Scribner’s Magazine for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in 1904 and became a popular carol after composer Gustav Holst set it to music in 1906. Her poem “Love Came Down at Christmas” (1885) is also a well known carol. “In the Bleak Midwinter” continues to be sung frequently in churches, by choirs, and on recordings by artists such as Sarah McLaughlin, Julie Andrews, Loreena McKennitt, Susan Boyle and James Taylor. The haunting song includes these verses:

In the bleak mid-winter, Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter, Long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away, When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter, A stable-place suffice'd
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ….
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk, And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels, Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel, Which adore.

Angels and archangels, May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim, Thronged the air –
But only His mother, In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved, With a kiss.

What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him, Give my heart.


 

The Episcopal Church considered devoting a feast day to Christina Rossetti on April 27 with this prayer for possible inclusion on the official calendar:

O God, whom heaven cannot hold, you inspired Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: Help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Rossetti herself may well have felt ambivalent about being honored by the church or outed as queer. She shared her own thoughts for posterity in her poem “When I am dead, my dearest” (1862):

When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me, With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight, That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember, And haply may forget.


[Source: Kittredge Cherry, April 2020]

 


 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith

Jimmy Fallon & Friends: Wonderful Christmas Time

Shawn Hayes: Jingle Bells

That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Xmas Queens: Let it Snow

Queer Black Christmas

SNL: I Wish it Was Christmas Today

Speedo Santas in Boston

Jingle Bells with Boxer Shorts

LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

Steve Grand: All I Want for Christmas is You

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lesbian Version

Glee: Baby It's Cold Outside

Earth's Holidays: Celebration of the Seasons

 

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