How does one deal with a JW at Christmas??

by Super_Becka 9 Replies latest social relationships

  • Super_Becka

    Hi everyone,

    OK, I'm looking for a little more advice. It's Christmas, I'm an exceptionally festive person (seriously, I start listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween, I'm not kidding, I LOVE Christmas!!), and as anyone who's read my other topics and posts knows, I'm dating an unbaptized, inactive JW who hasn't been to the KH in forever but still completely and utterly despises Christmas and all things associated with it (and other holidays, too, he just hates celebrations).

    So the question is, how does one deal with this situation?? We're in a long-distance relationship, so we won't be together for the holidays anyway. And we do need to have a serious talk about how we approach the holidays, we've agreed on that, but he wants to talk about that face-to-face and so do I, so that'll have to wait until he comes for a visit in January. In the meantime, we're in touch on a daily basis, either via email or phone calls, and quite frankly, I like to talk about Christmas a lot, it's a major thing in my life and most things that I'm doing now are Christmas-related, but he skirts any and all mention of Christmas. For example, I told him yesterday in an email that I had helped decorate my grandparents' house for Christmas, something that I love doing, and when he replied, he conveniently said that he had nothing to talk about and left it at that.

    True, he hasn't complained recently about my talk of Christmas and all of the seasonal stuff going on here at my house, but I'm sure it's not far off. He's complained before, and he curtly cuts me off when I talk about it on the phone - usually something like, "Can we not talk about Christmas?? It's annoying." - and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he complains again. I think he just doesn't understand how something that he's never had can be so important to someone else, and he refuses to see things that way.

    I'm not toning down on my holiday spirit for him or anyone else, this is my favourite time of the year (and he's well-aware of that), so does anyone have any suggestions for how to deal with my "JW in name only" boyfriend over the holidays?? I'm really starting to think that he's not the nice, sweet guy that I fell in love with. Christmas really brings out his bad side, and it's not pretty.


    -Becka :)

  • Seeking Knowledge
    Seeking Knowledge

    Well Becka, it's all about compromise isn't it? It sounds like he's only against Christmas because that's all he knows. He was brought up being told it wasn't allowed. That being said, if that's the best he can do, why can't he allow you to celebrate for the same reasons?

    Personally, I think you're in for a rough ride. I can tell you when I was with my "inactive JW", he never told me not to celebrate Christmas and frankly, if he had, I probably would have gotten here alot quicker than I did. I always included him in presents and always had decorations up. He did live with me, so there was no way for him to escape that. He never "joined" me in celebrating it, but he sure took everything that went with it, including my family's house for dinners. He had no choice, again we lived together, and I had a daughter from a previous relationship and I sure wasn't going to let her not enjoy Christmas.

    He's made his position known to you and you to you are at a stalemate. You could tone it down for him, but you've already said you're not going do do this. I think you are coming to grips with reality here and while that sucks, its better that you do it now than later for both of your sakes.

    Besides, if he's this against you celebrating Christmas and you give in, what's next?

    Just my .02


  • jgnat

    My dad is a regular grump, not a JW, just hates the commercialism. I told him the same thing I told my daughter, that he doesn't have to buy in to all the hype, but please do the things he loves about the season. Remember the fond memories of Christmases past and incorporate those things he loved the most. If he or my daughter don't want to do the "reciprocate gifts" thing, I'm fine with that. What I love is the dinner with my family all around me. So that is what I concentrate on.

    I work around the probem with my JW hubby by negotiating hard and negotiating early. I've polled him for his favorite parts, and I do lots of baking. It is still difficult, as his sniping about the season deflates my bubble of joy. I can kick his shins under the table, but the damage has been done.

    Thanks to the JW's, I've done a lot of deep thinking on the significance of annual celebrations. I think they are necessary touchpoints in our lives. I read the account of a girl who was raised as a communal cult-child. She was raised with no distinction of the days. Every day was just like the other. Her memories are blurred and indistinct. Annual events solidify our memories, build bonds with our family, and allow us to reflect on the passage of time. I think it is no accident that the Old Testament Jehovah-God set up regular celebrations and events through the year. We need to gather to eat, sing, dance and be grateful. The pathetic JW memorial is not an adequate substitute.

    Your problem is worse, because your boyfriend has no fond memories. All he will feel is dirty and guilty. Because he thinks it is rank paganism. He may also have bad memories of being left out of the festivities at school and made to feel different all the time. Also, he's refusing to talk about it. This is not good.

  • Finally-Free
    "Can we not talk about Christmas?? It's annoying."

    In other words, if something is not interesting to him, it's not worth talking about? Do you really want to be in a relationship where one person alone dictates what is appropriate subject matter? How happy can you be in a relationship where you can't freely talk about things that interest you?

    Even if he doesn't care for holidays, he should recognize that they're harmless, and if he cares about you he should be willing to show some interest for the sake of your happiness.

    Or is this relationship all about him?


  • mouthy

    I buy gifts presents for all my loved ones. But even though many invite me to be with them I spend it alone. I think of all the ones I lead into deception... I send out loads of cards... I love the carols, But I too think it is very commercialized. Santa seems to have prominance over the ONE who we are suppossed to be worshipping in my humble opinion.But I do hope all of you have happy & joyeous reunions with loved ones...

  • Super_Becka

    Finally-Free said:

    Or is this relationship all about him?

    Heh, funny you should mention that. I probably should've added some things to my intro post on this thread, but I didn't for the sake of keeping it short.

    About my boyfriend - he worships the ground that I walk on, he tells me every single day that he loves me, he says he can't stop thinking about me and how much he misses me...

    But he's intent on keeping his life exactly the way that it is. That means, when push comes to shove, I'll be the one having to do all of the changing. (Maybe a result of the whole "headship" principle??)

    He refuses to relocate to be with me because he doesn't want to move, he has a job where he lives and his family lives there, so if we want to be together, I'm the one who has to leave my life behind, all of my family and friends and even my country (I live in Canada, he lives in the US), just to be with him. The only changes he'd have to make would be to have someone else living in his apartment besides himself, that's it. I'd be the one having to completely start over. And I'm guessing that his stance is exactly the same way for holidays - he hasn't said anything about them yet (like I said, he conveniently ignores any mention of the holidays), but I'm sure that at some point, he'll give me an ultimatum - give up the holidays or we can't be together.

    As for holiday compromise in his family, his sister is married to a non-JW (she's actually been married twice, divorced once), and when I asked what she did about holidays, he said, "Both of her husbands just gave up their holidays for her". Well, if that works for them, then great, but it's not going to work for us. My culture is really big on holidays, I'm not giving any of them up. I like wearing a Santa hat at Christmas and I like birthday cake and Easter eggs and Halloween costumes and turkey dinners at Thanksgiving, among others, and there's nobody that I'll give these things up for. If he can't handle that, then tough shit.

    What really cracks me up is the fact that over the summer when I visited him, we were just talking and he said he understood how important Christmas and my other holidays are to me and that he'd be willing to try Christmas with me. What a crock of bulls**t. Oh, the things you'll say to make someone happy and the things you'll believe to be happy. I'm so naive.

    And that's not even mentioning the pressuring that I've been under from my family - they don't want me to have to completely change my life and give up everything that's important to me just for a guy. And my mother can't imagine having grandchildren that she can't send Christmas and birthday gifts to, and I won't subject her to that, it's not fair. The question that's been floating around here now is, "So, when are you gonna break up with him??", and I completely understand where they're coming from.

    That's why I've been contemplating exactly how to break up with him. I love him with all of my heart, but I seriously don't think this will ever work out, and I place the blame squarely on the WTS. I'm not opposed to talking to him about it, we will sit down and have a serious discussion about our problems face-to-face, when he can't just avoid them or ignore them, and then I'll make my final decision. But it's not looking good.

    Keep the posts coming!!

    -Becka :)

  • jgnat

    Maybe you can send him some gingerbread men to spell out your "Dear John" letter.

    "Sorry, honey, but if you love me you love the holidays too. Thanks for the memories. You are a great rebound date."

  • Finally-Free
    Maybe you can send him some gingerbread men to spell out your "Dear John" letter.

    The hell with that!!!

    Send him a "Dear John" letter. Send ME some gingerbread men!!!


  • desbah

    Merry Christmas Becka,

    Here's my two do not have to change your way of celebrating the holidays. If your inactive JW boyfriend is serious about your relationship.He needs to learn to let go of his JW religious beliefs and compromise with you.

    To me if you continue with this relationship with him, you will eventually lose your idenity and he will control where you live, who you can see and what is important to celebrating holiday events.

    The next time you talk with your boyfriend try saying, "Merry Christmas, I love you!!" see what his response is...


  • FreeWilly

    Hey Becka,

    I answered a similar question so I'll repeat it again here. Don't take it seriously. If you're BF does then throw him one of these zingers, and keep quiet.

    * Do witnesses still teach all the animals fit into Noah's boat?

    * How did the water cover mount everest?

    * How did all of Noah's Kangaroo's make it to Australia?

    * You really don't think everyone's gonna die cuz a talking snake told a naked lady to eat some fruit - dooo you? Throw one of them out there and just keep silent. Have some fun with it!

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