A lot of people ask me if I celebrate Christmas with my mom and the answer is no. My mom and I haven’t celebrated Christmas in a very long time, even before I started the conversion process. I usually tell them that when I was 16, the Christmas tree fell over and that promptly ended the tradition.
It’s sort of a funny story, right? The tree falls over and that’s it for the celebration. Well, out of context, it is funny, but the circumstances surrounding that particular day cast it in a totally different light. I was still in the midst of my deep depression and I was being treated, but it was a long journey to get to where I am today. That day I was home alone; my mom was at work. Christmas must have been a few days away and my mom had already told me she had to work that day. She didn’t say it out loud, but we both knew that my extensive hospital and doctor bills, though mostly covered by her health insurance, were to blame for the decision. It was just a bad time and I was already in tears for whatever reason when the tree fell over. I promptly began bawling and managed to call my mom, who was probably bewildered and worried. The tree falling over on top of everything else just broke me that day.
My mom and I still celebrate the holidays in our own way. There are no decorations, definitely not a tree, but she patiently watches as I light candles during Hanukkah and I always buy her a new Santa decoration, along with a gift, for Christmas. The holidays are hard for both of us, but we always make it through.