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GURRRLolgy Christmas Cheer & Challenge
by Vicky Nabors

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"Deck the halls with boughs of holly fa la la la laaaa la la la la! - 'Tis the season to be jolly!"

It's Christmas time in Chi-Town! Yipeee! I've always loved Christmas, especially in Chicago!

At this time of the year, my inner-child comes out to play in full force. I love: the beauty of the first big snow, the warmth and festive spirit, decorations and twinkling lights, old and new holiday music and red velvet cake. Most importantly, I love the magical energy that circulates in the air causing Scrooge-type individuals to become loveable and kind, even if for one moment. Christmas-time holds many exciting events, surprises and Blessings for us; but it can also trigger personal challenges and frustrations for many of our fellow lesbian sistahs.

On the bright side, it's no secret that we throw off-the-hook parties; nothing like those boring holiday parties in straightville USA. Since everyone isn't into the bar scene, many holiday gatherings and parties take place in homes and apartments with close friends. I love to have friends over during the season to socialize and get stupid. I'll never forget that Christmas Eve when we transformed our Scrabble game into Ebonics Scrabble - something strange was in the air that night, or in the Egg Nog. And we always sing my favorite Christmas song - no one ever seems to get all of the words right but the melody is strong enough to support even the worst attempts to join in. Sing along now,

"Hang all the mistletoe

I'm gonna get to know you better

this Christmas

and as we trim the tree

how much fun it's gonna be

together this Christmas"

Awe yea! I know you feel me on this one!

In addition to the parties, there's the issue of the biological and lesbian families. Many or us enjoy spending Christmas Eve or Day with our families as a whole. And, lesbian couples struggle, just like straight couples, over the issue of which extended family they'll spend the holiday with; that is, if you're fortunate enough to have two families that are accepting of your relationship. Whatever the final arrangements, the lesbian couple always enjoys their Christmas celebration because their union is respected. In the end, they'll find themselves sitting in the dining room of Big Mamma's house surrounded by siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews singing "Grandma Just Got Run Over By A Reindeer," gorging on sweet potato pie and turkey, while laughing at Uncle Mike's dumb jokes. No stress, no frustrations, just one big happy family.

Unfortunately, there are many extended families that don't accept their loved one's sexual orientation, nor her lesbian lover. In these cases, lovers find themselves challenged with the sad dilemma of either going their separate ways for the holiday or boycotting their biological family's celebration to be with each other. Still, even though the couple is together for the holiday, enjoying each other in their own special way - it's still a "Blue Christmas" without the extended family. It's the mother, most of the time, that's against her daughter's lesbian lifestyle, as a result, the family decides that it's best not to upset her and pleads with their lesbian family member to leave her girlfriend at home. Sometimes, however, a sistah will have to take a stand and rebel; she brings her lover anyway. Of course, you can be sure that, at that point, it won't be a "Silent Night, Holy Night" because all will not be so calm and all will definitely not so bright.

Lesbian lovers, biological families, and Christmas-time - what a complex mix. For those of you who are currently struggling over these issues, here's my daddy's advice: "Just say: F#!K the world and do your own damn thang!" It's the holidaze my sistahs, make it yours, own it, enjoy it and don't let any Scrooges interfere with your party. Forbidden love is nothing new, which means we'll always have to defend and define what is important to us. Embrace your lover, your lesbian and gay friends, as well as yourself this holiday season, and spread the joy of living, laughing, loving, and giving at Christmas time.

God's Blessing to you and your's during this Holiday Season - Merry Christmas!

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