I remember one Mother's Day when I was just 7 or 8 (I'm now a grandma so you know that made a big impression on a little girl). At school we made a Mother's Day present (it was nice smelling soap with net and flowers). When I gave it to my mother all she could do was lecture me on why we did not celebrate Mother's Day. I was crushed. JW's teach their members to be cruel and unloving people.
JW Children, Holidays, and Memories
Isnt it a shame that such a loving group would be so closed minded about the world? One would think people would WAKE UP!
I remember begging my 5th grade teacher (who gave me the impression that she really didn't like me) for a damn pencil box that she had just given everyone else in class for Christmas. Oh she eventually gave me one, but it wasn't with a spirit of holiday giving, it was only to get me to shutup.
I remember getting valentines and flowers at school that I needed to hide and get rid of secretly, too. I could never give anyone a valentine, and I always felt guilty taking cards and gifts (for Christmas, too!) and not being able to give anything in return.
When my kids started school, even though I was a faithful dub at the time, I made sure to ask to see the valentines cards and candy they got... asked which one they liked best.... asked who their best friend at school was. I didn't want them to feel guilty and ashamed and have to hide their stuff from me.
SLM, hi...your thread brought back so many memories. In grade school, we had to either make a shoe box, for the valentine's to fit in, or tape a brown paper lunch bag to our desks. My teacher would put a bag on my desk for me, because she knew I wasn't supposed to celebrate. Her policy was, EVERYBODY got a valentine's, or else no-one did. I really liked that teacher, and I received lots of valentine's cards. I'd also spend recesses making my own cards to put in everyone's boxes or bags. I never took them home though. Now, it's a joy to help my children make their own special valentine's cards....and to see the cards they bring home.
People were so nice at school, they tried to help me work around the rules so I could participate: one teacher got me a special Christmas card that was super religious and she said she got me that one because she thought I would be able to accept it because it was so Jesus-y. Then the same year a friend got me a card with just santa claus, a funny one, and she said she bought it special for me because she thought maybe I could keep it since it WASN'T Jesus-y.
Course, I returned both cards.
But the first Christmas I had I was 22 years old, and my boyfriend at the time bought me like loads of gifts, almost all little kid gifts (example box of 64-count Crayola crayons, cartoon-themed slippers, teddy bears, etc), to "make up for the years of christmas" that I'd lost. Though I hated lots of things about that guy, that was one really thoughtful thing.
This isn't from when I was kid exactly but maybe it counts too? My husband used to make me Valentines every year almost. They were so sweet. Not anymore of course, all that died with membership to the cult.
Wow. All of these stories ... the collective experiences ... have just brought tears to my eyes.
No kid giving a Valentine cares about how it might have come from a different tradition two millenia ago. It's about taking a moment to create or give something to your friends, to think about each person individually, and as we get older, to take a few extra minutes to turn that love we feel into a little tangible reminder. I'll never understand what's wrong with that.
Thanks for sharing, everyone.
I got lots of Valentines. Also never took them home at the time, but kept them in my desk all year and smuggled them into my closet with all the rest of the end-of-the-year-clean-out-my-desk stuff.
This is how sneaky I was. I would write a little poem for each of my classmates (this was in third-fourth-fifth grades, and everyone knew what a poet I was)--something silly or fun, usually involving some variation of their name--and leave it in their desks the day BEFORE the Valentine's day card exchange. That way, they all knew I liked them, too. And it guaranteed I got lots of Valentines.
I know the other JW kids (either older or younger than me--I was the only one in my grade) were always puzzled at why I was popular. Just couldn't stand that "be no part of the world" thing.
Jankyn, still an attention junkie
I always received valentines and would apologize to my friends when they gave me one. Sorry, I couldn't get you anything because I don't celebrate it. I would keep them in my book back and throw it away in someone elses trash can on the way home.
I was always real jealous of the kids on the bus the day after halloween. Back when I was in school you were allowed to bring candy to school as long as you didn't bust it out during class. So everyone would have a big bag of candy for the bus ride and for lunch and I had none.
Then there was one time when I was in kindergarden the teacher had punch for a kids birthday party and I refused to drink it because it was birthday punch. The teacher forced me to drink it. I went home crying because I thought I had displeased Jehovah by drinking birthday punch. So my mom went and told her off and I got transferred to another kindergarden class.