I used to get really depressed during the holiday season.I was always broke and stuck working a dead-end retail job. But most of the problem stemmed from never feeling as though I fit in with the rest of the world–a nice little parting gift from thecultreligion I was raised in. I didn't know how to be comfortable with holiday protocol, so to speak. I'd spent my childhood pretending that everyone was being foolish and shameful by enjoying what was clearly against everything God (supposedly) wanted. I was taught to look down on them with self-rightous pity.

I don't feel that way anymore. I like X-mas for my own reasons–reasons of togetherness, festivity, charity. The Christian dogma isn't for me, as I lean more toward pagan tendancies these days, but I have nothing against anyone appreciating Jesus–I like the guy. To each his/her own, right?

You'd think that by the time I turned 35, I'd be past feeling squeamish about my choices when it comes to my mother, but apparently I can't move past it. I can't feel justified to my holiday customs like everyone else.

I mean, if someone decided to crash another person's holiday and detrail their traditions, simply because they were inconvenienced by them…well, that person would have a reason to be outraged. Why can't I just tell her it's unacceptable? Why did I make her needs more important than a 10-year tradition of mine and my husband's?

Why couldn't I stick to my guns when I told her she was welcomed to spend the night on Thursday as long as she wasn't going to be bothered when we put up our Christmas tree at the end of the night?

I'm always worried that I'm hurting her, but she never worries about me. And now I've disappointed my husband (and myself) to accomadate her like I always do.

I hate myself right now. But I hate her even more. Mostly because I love her way more than she'll ever love me back.

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