Apprehension about the holidays

by greenie 8 Replies latest jw experiences

  • greenie

    So...I've been feeling a tightness in my chest thinking about the upcoming holiday season. You know, October = Halloween; November=Thanksgiving; December=Christmas, etc. etc. I'm not sure how to approach them with my Dub (for those who don't know, I'm a non-JW, never have been one, never will be). He's gone with the flow before (although you can see the guilt almost eating him alive), so I'm not sure what the best approach would be. I want to set up a system where our child will be able to enjoy them too. Any thoughts? It'd be nice if I could somehow give my Dub a situation where he doesn't have to feel so guilty about participating. Would anything have worked for you guys? And if not (because he doesn't always seem to be an over-zealous uber-Dub), can you think of anything that might work?

    Oh, and I hope everyone on here realizes how much we take for granted! I never thought once that I would have to consider one day whether my mate would celebrate holidays with me. Just always assumed they would and looked forward to those warm, family-oriented seasons!

  • vilot

    Hi greenie I don't know your story as to how you married a JW anyway I would just go with the flow. If he's had no problem with it in the past I can't imagine why he would now object. Invite him to join in the family part of the holidays and hopefully he can relax and enjoy.

    Funny story actually, when I became a JW at age 21 I cut all holiday ties with my family. My mother would invite me to Thanksgiving and say "it's just dinner" and I always declined not wanting to give the apparence of accepting the holiday. One thursday evening (thanksgiving) I was invited to a pioneer's house her family (all JW's) would be there with other JW's as well...Believe it or not I didn't even think about it but when I arrived I was shocked to my core to see a FULL Thanksgiving meal prepared complete with Autumn leaves with each persons name as to where to sit...All I could think of was what a hypocrite I would be to participate with this dinner when I had hurt my mother for so many years...I didn't leave and felt like crap...

  • yknot

    Set a time to talk.

    Tell him while you want to respect his beliefs, you can't see yourself doing so at the disrespect of yours.

    Point out the holidays are around the corner. State what you would like as your optimal situation, from there be willing to work back to a middle ground.

    If a compromise can't be civilly reached.......bring it up with a counselor.......(I am betting he will compromise though)

    Keep us posted....

  • PSacramento

    You can always ask a dub to read Romans and read what Paul thinks about "special days" and such.

    The INTENT behind ANY celebration is the crucial element and evne the most holiest of JW's celebration, the last supper ( or is it the anniversary of the WT?) can be perverted if one's intentions are not correct.

    As Paul stated, "whatever you do, do with God in your heart".

    Jesus onserved many Jewish celebrations that were not in the bible, like the festival of dedication.

  • dissed


    A friend of mine's husband was not a JW and he made her do all the stuff. Decorating, cooking, etc...and she did it with the blessing of the Elders.

    Its not that unusual to have a divided household on these things. I wouldn't go crazy, and stuff it down his throat, but have fun, create those memories with the whole family.

    Even for me it took a few years to get over the Xmas thing. Now I don't even think about it being wrong, and can really enjoy it. He will too in time.

  • wantstoleave

    Ive been a witness my entire life, yet we've often gone to family's xmas dinners etc. We always viewed it as just 'dinner', not a celebration. It helped that they werent into carols and opening pressies. They always did that before we got there. Also, my grandparents would often invite us over the day after xmas, for dinner, and hand out presents to my siblings and I. We were allowed to accept them as 'presents', not xmas presents. Lol...cutting it fine dont you think..

    If he's gone along with it before, no reason to think he wont now. Just start planning and preparing as you normally would. He knows your beliefs, and you know his. So, he will respect you Im sure. Its his choice whether he attends or not....

  • WTWizard

    This sounds like the witless partner wants to prevent you from enjoying the holidays. You want to put up decorations, the witless doesn't want them in the house. You want Christmas presents, the witless doesn't want those either. You want a special dinner, the witless wants nothing more than a regular dinner (perhaps so they can bring in other witlesses to visit, Christmas-free). You want to listen to Christmas carols, the witless wants Kingdumb Maladies. You want to do trick or treat (whether going out or handing candy at the door), the witless won't have that in the house.

    I don't see why the witlesses can't have a more moderate view on the holidays, if they are not going to celebrate them. For instance, allowing people to be in the midst of holiday events that they cannot reasonably avoid (or avoid without a big fight), allowing them to listen to Christmas music when in public places (and it is going on), enjoy the artwork created by Halloween and Christmas decorations, and enjoy holiday specials (that is, foods that are only around during Halloween, Christmas, or Easter). Not only that would prevent a lot of friction in these situations (a witless in a family could partake of a holiday meal, say, but not actively initiate it), but it would prevent a lot of the situations we see with witlesses that cannot do their jobs because of a "Happy Birthday", Christmas carols going, or setting up a Christmas tree for their employer.

  • greenie

    Thanks for all the feedback, but blargh. We tried to talk and just ended up arguing. He starts talking about what's in the Bible and I can't do scriptural gymnastics so I lose (in his eyes). My visceral response to his Bible citing also has him thinking that I'm afraid to look in the Bible, which I think tells him more that he's right. So, it seems like my actions are also only reinforcing his beliefs. See? Blargh. At times, he really makes religion ugly for me. Sorry to be mopey, but I am really not looking forward to the months ahead when I completely should be. I also wonder, for those of you that have been on this board a long time, how many like me you've seen come and go.

  • bluecanary

    If it helps, this is the particular scripture that PS mentioned: Romans 14:5-10

    5 One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it to the Lord. Whoever eats, eats to the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is to the Lord that he does not eat, yet he thanks God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

    If he mentions the scriptures where someone gets beheaded, ask him if it's ok for JWs to play soccer. Then inform him that soccer originated with kicking the heads of conquered enemies around.

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