I am sitting here, so utterly bored and waiting for this day to be over. So I'm starting a new topic that probably has been done a thousand times but hey, I'm fairly new here. Humor me :)
So here's my Xmas as a young JW. I will try and be brief.
I never had gifts - obvs - but once my dad did actually buy me something because he felt so bad. It was a doll and he left it at the bottom of the bed so I woke up Xmas morning and it was there. Oh my, was I happy? Overjoyed! But my dad, overcome with guilt that he had disobeyed the WT, informed me later there would never be another Xmas present.
On Boxing Day we traditionally visited my non-JW aunt for tea because she insisted, although my parents always tried to get out of it. I loved her because every single year she gave me a little gift. Six cubes of lavender scented bath salts wrapped up in pretty paper. Same thing every year but oh, how I loved that gift. It meant so much to me.
All this baloney we tell people how JWs kids get gifts all through the year. Total rubbish. I never had anything. In fact, I cannot recall one single gift from my parents part from that Xmas doll and a bike when I was in my teens and I only got the bike because I begged and begged for one. I never wanted anything grand. If they had bought me a packet of pencils I would have been overjoyed.
Xmas was pure agony at school. From mid November onward I was overcome with a sickening dread. I was mercilessly taunted by school mates because I was't getting any Xmas presents. The school disco was always a nightmare because I wasn't allowed to go. So all the girls would get on the school bus dressed in party clothes, lessons would finish at lunch and then a disco in the main hall all afternoon. And where was I? Sitting in a classroom on my own doing work. Do you know what it was like getting on the school bus later that day? Horrendous. I would go home in tears. Did my parents ever care? Nope.
One year, I couldn't face it so feigned illness and didn't go to school the day of the disco. But the headmaster noticed and I was hauled into his office the next day and asked outright if I had played truant and of course, I had to say yes. So although he said he was sorry my parents forbid me to go to the disco I was never to play truant again and was duly punished for it.
Xmas day - ministry. Forced to go out. But householders were often kind and felt sorry for us and gave us mince pies and sweets. I remember one old man being particularly kind, he gave me some money. I was only about 10 or 11 and didn't know how to react. His insisted I take it and his kindness just overwhelmed me. I ran out into the street to my dad, I was crying. I was just so overcome. My dad immediately spun me around, marched me back to his house and made me give it back. The man was embarrassed and felt bad for upsetting me. But how could I tell him, I'm crying because I was overcome with his kindness?
All throughout the Xmas school holidays I felt sick, knowing I had to face it all over again when we went back to school. All the girls discussing their Xmas presents and me with nothing except my bath cubes. So they taunted and laughed and said I was a loser and my parents were losers, too.
So one year, I came up with a cunning plan. I was going to lie. I wrote down a list of make believe gifts and memorized them. I planned a Christmas dinner in my mind and memorized it all. So after Xmas, on the school bus, when they taunted me for not celebrating I was ready with my imaginary Xmas. They asked how come I celebrated it this year and I just shrugged and said, my dad's family weren't witnesses and had insisted we go over to them and I'd been showered with gifts and it was wonderful.
It got them off my back but oh, I felt so bad for lying and was sure Jehovah was going to strike me dead for it. I walked around for weeks expecting a lightning bolt to shoot out of the sky and kill me.
But you know, the sad thing is, I did it to my children too and I feel bad, really bad that I did exactly as my parents. They must have really suffered at school, the only saving grace is they weren't alone as they had loads of witness kids in their school whereas I was the only one.
So, that's a very condensed version of my Xmas as a JW child, what is yours?