When I left the organization, I initially refused to celebrate the holidays because of their “pagan” origin. I also knew that JWs weren’t the only Bible-based religion to shun these celebrations either, so I felt comfortable in continuing to do so. But I have since come to embrace some of them. Christmas, birthdays and Thanksgiving are now precious to me. I still don’t observe patriotic holidays but don’t condemn those who do. That is because I have adopted a “live and let live” attitude since finding my freedom from the Witness cult.
But even when I was a Witness, I could not develop a real hatred of the holidays in my heart. I saw them as many others do: an occasion for families and friends to come together and celebrate love and mutual ties. I also believe that feasting and merrymaking are good things in themselves when not carried to excess and that they are vital and necessary for human well-being.
So while I was a Witness, I would respond to holiday greetings with a smile, a word of thanks, and an inquiry into what my well-wisher planned to do. That always led to wonderful conversations about the anticipated joy of family and friends coming together, the exchange of gifts, and celebrating the good things in life. I now find it obscene that the WTS not only chooses to ignore these important aspects of living, but refuses to allow its followers any occasion for doing so. No wonder many Witnesses have faux Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. They know as well as anybody else how special occasions add joy to living and should be adopted and promoted, not demonized.