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The Best Christmas Gift for My Daughters

Dec 24, 2013 | Uncategorized | 5 comments

My mother was raised to find a good husband.  In her era, it was important that she know how to clean a house, plan a party and be a good spouse to the executive she was going to marry someday. Her Christmas activities were to have my dad’s boss over for dinner, wrap all the gifts and always keep the house tidy and welcoming. She was the demure little housewife that everyone called his “better half”. She was funny, and laughed a lot at herself and was a very warm woman. And, I miss her to this day.

Still, in all the holiday preparation- sometimes I miss the one Christmas gift I could have used the most.  She didn’t prepare me for the life I have today. I didn’t marry an executive- I am one. And because my parents didn’t understand that the world had changed, I’ve had to overcome the start my parents gave me in life. I didn’t go to college until I was in my 40s. They just didn’t think it was that important for a girl.  So, I was a fulltime marketing manager, with four children when I walked to the podium for my sheepskin.

I was raised hearing “Yes I have a beautiful daughter”. Always beautiful, never smart. And with that, any comments were on my weight, my makeup my hairstyle- not my grades.

So my holiday present to my daughters is this.  Be smart- better yet, be WISE. Be your own best gift you give this season. Stand up and be counted and don’t apologize for being part of the world.

Stop apologizing: Instead of striving to be demure, learn that you belong.  That habit of apologizing for your place in the world – lose it.  One of the hardest things I trained myself to do was to stop starting my sentences with “Sorry, but….” I constantly have to remind myself that I do deserve to speak.

Support yourself: Want more money? Go earn it. We live in a country where opportunity is everywhere. We aren’t oppressed. If you want something – go get it.  It may take hard work, but we all have this incredible set of tools at our disposal. You can have the life you want.

Its okay not to make friends: Strive to get along with people, but don’t be a people pleaser. You can have a style that’s open and accepting, but eventually you’re going to have to disagree- sometimes vehemently. Stand your ground.

Don’t be afraid:  There is a big beautiful world around there and plenty of people who want you just the way you are.  Living life on your terms will naturally allow you to surround you with people who are like minded. There is nothing to fear.

Men fall in love with smart women too: Yes, yes they do. There is a whole world of men out there who want exciting, intelligent, attractive women- yes, and the smart ones. Why would you want a man who is challenged by you? Why would you want to build a life with someone who has an issue with who you are?   Run…run towards the men who accept it.

So that’s it- my Christmas gift to my daughters. It will be one they’ll remember long after the tinsel is off the tree.


  1. whitney

    I don’t have children, but the best Christmas present I ever gave was just a card. It was a card I gave to my dad that thanked him for helping me become my “grown up self” and that a lot of who I am is because of him, and how I’ll always be grateful. I cherish that card, and his reaction to it, holding my hand silently. It turns out he gave it back to me months later, tucked under the cover of my motorcycle, with a reply that said “never forget how good it is to be Whitney.” He committed suicide the night before.

    This Christmas, tell whoever you love how you feel about them. If you don’t tell them, they may never know.

    • Virginia

      Whitney, you are a strong, wonderful woman to have shared that with your father. So many things go unsaid- and you made sure he knew how much you appreciated and loved him. THanks for sharing.Virginia

  2. Phoebe Wulliman Graber

    Excellent post! I had my daughter read it too. Very empowering. Congrats on the HuffPost feature :)!

  3. Dani

    This is a beautiful story sounds very familiar too! I love it please contact me and send over what ever you’d like even if I don’t agree with it I have a very open mind. God bless

  4. Dawn Biocca

    I love this. It is so empowering. When Alan and I got married I was going to be that “demure little housewife” because that is how I was raised and what was expected of wives at the time, I didn’t know any better. In the beginning it was so nice to say “I’m a stay at home mom” but I lost my identity and became “Alan’s wife”, “Chris & Jessica’s mom” . I was not Dawn Biocca just someone appendage. And for a long time it was OK. Until I started my Cookie Lee Business. That is when I realized that I had an identity and I needed to be me and speak my mind and stand up for what I believed it. I am still a wife to Alan and that will never change but I have also become my own person and I like it. I am back at school, my business is doing well. I am very thankful for how far I have come. In the past I was afraid to let Alan know what I thought or felt after all it was not the example our mother gave us. But over the past few years that is not me anymore. I tell him what I think of things and how I feel and he has changed because of that. He is treating me differently and I love it. We need to tell our daughters it is OK to be you and to find someone who will accept you for what you want and are.