So Will This Be Your First Christmas?

by Englishman 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Englishman

    Funny how the prospect of Christmas takes me back to my pre-dub days as a 7 year old. Christmas Eve was spent making my present request list, duly guided by both my parents as to what to ask for. Once completed, the coal fire was stoked up and the precious list was allowed to be carried up the chimney where waiting elves promptly delivered my requests to Santa. Wonder of wonders, the next morning revealed that Santa had called by overnight, scurrying down the chimney to leave my presents on the settee before guzzling at the glass of milk and bourbon biscuit that I had left out for him.

    Shortly after that last Christmas, my parents were converted to the JW religion. Santa was replaced by the less amiable Jehovah, Christmas day was abandoned. After all, lucky JW children get presents ALL year round, don't they? Hmm.

    The funny thing is, that all these years later, I still get a tingle of excitement at the prospect of Christmas. The first year that I left the JW's I celebrated with a vengeance! At age 26 I wrote my first ever greetings cards and was astonished to receive some myself. Now, Christmas in our house is a wonderful period in the year. We have the works; tree, holly, mistletoe, decorations, turkey, The Queens Speech, family to stay, dinner for 12 or more.

    I'm sure that there are some lurkers here who are wondering whether this just might be their first celebrated festival. All I can say is "Go for it!"


    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be....

  • closer2fine

    I posted this on an earlier thread:

    I love Christmas time. I've celebrated for the last 10 years.
    I love buying gifts.
    I love the smell of the tree - the way it looks all lit up.
    I love bundling up and heading out to pick it out.
    I love decorating it.
    Hanging the stockings,
    burning the "Smell of Christmas" candles,
    cooking a turkey & ham all day for company,
    egg nog,
    candy canes,
    pictures of my daughter with Santa,
    the music,
    Silent Night,
    Robert Earl Keen's Christmas song,
    the excitement of the kids when all the presents are under the tree, my excitement when all the presents are under the tree,
    my husband's special recipe for Christmas Margaritas,
    my list goes on....


  • Bridgette

    I ADORE Christmas! Everything Closer mentioned and more. I look forward to snuggling with my honey on a chilly Rocky Mountain (this is our 2nd Christmas together) Christmas Eve, after my daughter goes to bed with dreams of what's beneath all the shiny wrapping paper just for her. Candles lit all over the house (ALL OVER). I love all the decorating and gift wrapping and shopping and baking for people! As my daughter and I bake together I tell her stories of my grandmother who died right after she was born, who taught me how to make PERFECT pie crust and the pecan filling to go in it. She loves it! It's like my grandmother (who was never a dub, and my mother, who was not nice about it broke her heart) lives again in some way. It's like you're connected to something so much bigger.
    I just love it!!!
    I love them all (the holidays) Halloween is one of my favorites. We just carved our Jack-o-lanterns the other evening. We sat on the back porch as we emptied the pumpkin and harvested the seeds and talked about everything from art, to nature, to hypothesizing how many seeds are in the average pumpkin.
    The holidays are about spending time with family. The winter forces us to slow down a bit, and just connect with each other.
    And NO--JEHOVAH'S WITNESS KIDS DO NOT GET PRESENTS ALL YEAR ROUND!! As Englishman was promised as a child (god, what an age to have to give up Christmas!). I never knew any JW kids who ever got presents hardly ever. And if their parents were elders and elderettes, they probably did not spend very much quality time with their children, either. So, JW life, and cult life in general sucks.
    that is all.

  • Eyebrow

    I have always like the "holiday season" even while a JW. I enjoyed seeing worldy people being nice to each other, and the sales, etc., hahaha.

    Actually, even though my family didn't stop christmas until I was 5 years old I really did not miss it as a kid because I was thoroughly convinced that the reasons we did not celebrate it outweighed not getting gifts. Plus, my family was so huge and so poor that I think it was almost a relief to my nonwitness dad that we did not celebrate xmas.

    I do enjoy it very much now. However, the only thing is that I find myself telling my husband we have to limit the number gifts to our kids. He REALLY likes to go over board! I have found that last xmas was better because the kids got just enough presents to be really excited, but not so much that they were overwhelmed. Besides, I want to instill in them that Christmas is more than just gimmee, gimmee, gmmee! It always bothered me to see that side of christmas.

    This will be my son's fourth xmas. Because my witness mom owns the apartment we rent, we do not decorate the outside out of respect for her. (We live in a neighborhood with a lot of her witness friends.) However, you can see our tree through the window. She has not said anything to me about it, and stays away from that conversation altogether.

    Does anyone have a good suggestions on how to make Christmas more than just a gift getting/receiving holiday for kids? My husband is not religious, and I have no problem with Christmas' "pagan" roots, because I see it as just another assimilation of religion/culture. We won't be doing anything really religious. But I would like to find some more meaning for this time of year for my kids.


  • NeonMadman

    This will be my first full Christmas celebration since 1968. Last year, the only way I "celebrated" was to go to a Christmas eve service at the Baptist church I was attending at the time, but that was before I started seeing the woman who has since become my wife. She, of course, never became a JW and has celebrated Christmas every year, so I expect to jump right into a full, traditional Christmas like the ones I remember as a kid.

    "The truth was obscure, too profound and too pure; to live it you had to explode." ---Bob Dylan

  • Simon

    I remember one Christmas that I was given some presents by my dad after he had been disfellowshipped I guess. I was little at the time but knew all the 'mantra' about how it was wrong and that we told everyone 'we get presents all year round' (yeah, right).

    It was fantastic.

    Also, my paternal grandparents weren't witnesses and they always had a propper big tree up, decorated with all sorts including chocolate that we pinched (as if they didn't know - it was always stocked up for our next visit). They always treated us too.

    Now it makes me so happy seeing the joy on Liam and Dylans faces when they come down to masses of wrapped presents ready for them to open. I guess we over-do things a bit but have to make up for the fact that no one else will be buying them anything. They are too young to question or wonder why all the presents are from us (hey, when you just got a Thunderbird 2 you don't ask questions...)

    Christmas is fantastic. This is our second. Still learning what we do (I guess our's end up more traditional as they come right out of a book!).

  • closer2fine

    Eyebrow -

    Volunteer at a soup kitchen, deliver dinners to shut-ins, donate toys for needy families, adopt a needy child for Christmas.......


  • mpatrick


    Best holiday of the year! I have celebrated for four years now, my first being my daughter's first.

    I remember when my husband and I started dating I informed him that I use to be a JW and would probably go back someday. I told him that I wouldn't be celebrating any holidays and he said he was alright with that. Well, a year into our marriage and the birth of our first daughter, I decided to celebrate. This was before I was convinced that the Borg was a load of crap. We didn't put up a Christmas tree and I only used "winter" wrapping paper, no Santa Claus stuff. Then we went to my first Christmas Party at an x-JW's and she had everything decked out. I remember asking her if she felt guilty, and she replied NO, not even a little.

    Well, the next year after being a bit more educated about just how big a "load of crap" the Borg truly was, We had our first real Christmas. We went out and sent hundreds of dollars just on decorations. My husband said it was like having two kids in the house.

    Since then we look quite forward to the holidays and try to make it special for our now three children (I have been very busy making babies the past 5 years). Since I didn't have Christmas growing up, I love being able to start my own Christmas traditions with my own family. It is the best!


    He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.-Thomas Fuller

  • Tammie

    Yes this will be my first christmas. YEA. I have started already by putting up some of the outdoor lights. I want to do it good, and I don't want to deal with the very cold air. But I do plan on making it a BIG deal this year. In two weeks my husband and I are buying an artifical prelited tree. We are really looking forward to it.


    Jw kids get presents all year round.You mean they peddled that crap all the way to ENGLAND,unbeleavable!My parants used to say look at those poor children they only get gifts on holidays.Who did they think they were kidding.As a little kid I knew they were full of crap,but I didn`t say so,because I didn`t want a beating for speaking my mind. When I had my kids,I wanted things to be better for them,so I started having christmas,for them.It took me awile,but the more I did it,the better I got.Now we have wonderful christmas`s.The house is decorated,the tree is up,friends&some family visit though the holidays.It is a wonderful time of year,I wouldn`t give it up for anything.If you haven`t done it before,give it a shot,you won`t regret it.Like ENGLISHMAN says,GO FOR IT!!!

    The Golden Rule:The people with the gold, make the rule`s!

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