Christmas as a JW child

by Phoebe 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Diogenesister
    Giordano2 hours ago2 hours ago
    Phoebe, a stunning account of Christmas as a JW child. Very honest and emotionally moving.
    Your writing showed me how deeply you felt and how little you asked for and how isolated you were

    As desperately sad as those moment's in your childhood sounds, as deeply as I was touched by Giordanos words, I can't help but think it has made for a well-rounded person who know doubt appreciates the simple joy of the little things at ChristmaS...singing a Carol, making some cinnamon hot chocolate for loved ones, the simplest of gifts or well wishes.

    Contrast this grateful and humble attitude with kids that are not satisfied with anything but the latest game, trainers, console...they can't be bothered to watch a face light up in joy as you offer them a's all about them.

    Sometimes there are good things to be had from a basic upbringing, not abusive I say, vitally hn one where the child is not the absolute centre of their world. You can get positives from sadness and loss in life.

  • LV101

    Dio - perfect!

    It's so true -- the faces that glow because of the giving of good hearts.

  • AlwaysBusy

    I hate the holidays, all of them. I can't wait until they are over. As kids, we didn't have presents because my mom and dad were too poor. Buying food for us was the best they could do, and sometimes that didn't happen. My mom got baptized when I was 2 so I grew up without holidays. I didn't mind, because of the poverty thing, there wouldn't have been gifts anyway. I loved the bible, and going to the hall when I was a kid, so I was happy to not have the holidays. But going to school around the holidays was torture. In elementary school, whenever there was a class party, my teacher held on to the back of my chair, which was attached to my desk, and swung it around, with me in it, as hard as she could, and shoved me into the hallway. There I sat for the rest of the day. On occasion, during a class party, I would be sent to the principal's office and have to sit out the rest of the day there. I was a very shy kid, and this was excruciating for me, but I never whined, whimpered or said a word, just did what I was told. Kids would pass by me sitting in the hallway and laugh, point and whisper. When I grew up and got baptized, I kept my kids home from school during the holiday parties. To this day (I'm 66), I don't celebrate any holiday, and I'm glad, I hate them. I don't know of anyone who has a good time during the holidays. Take away the booze and most people wouldn't even bother.


  • road to nowhere
    road to nowhere

    Cold weahter was baking and cooking time so there were pies, fudge, cakes and all that time. Poor (relatively) people buy seasonal foods so there was the ham, turkey, roast or whatever, and if you do not take advantage of the few times when the whole family is not working, you miss any get together.

    Later my best friend would have me over, his mom did things like giving a gift anyway, having me help decorate the tree. Even kept me out of trouble a couple times when over imbibed.

    Mom was not too strict, nor Dad. I suspect they knew things were not all quite right even way back then. I went to a few birthdays, trick or treated a bit, but the one year a wealthy witness relative was having a New Year party at the hall she owned and let them use for a kingdon hall they declined.

    This is still a lonely time for a lot of people, no matter. I did have loving parents, was given a good work ethic and well grounded in American midwest culture, the good parts of it.

  • contramundum

    This has been the first year I've bought presents for my children (now adult) and new grandson.

    Giving to my family truly is a gift in itself and my lovely children are generous enough to not hold any grudges for the normal childhood pleasures they missed out on while growing up in such a restrictive environment.

    I am thankful for every day that takes me further away from that religion and brings me closer to my children, as we see the beauty in the real life around us.

    Feeling happy 😊


  • LongHairGal


    I am so very sorry about JW children with their cruel deprived childhood - not just because of no Christmas but also being prevented from engaging in other social activities.

    I was not raised a JW and had all my holidays but when I joined the JWs I stopped because I thought I was "pleasing Jehovah". I deliberately isolated myself from my non-JW family and friends and missed many a feast. One year I got wise. I was isolated and all alone. None of the JWs were around - not that they were so friendly anyway... (Gee I wonder where they were?) I thought to myself: is Jehovah only pleased if I'm looking at four walls all alone? From that point onward, I started to reconnect with family and never missed a meal with them.

    All the hateful Jehovah's Witness religion did was try to separate me from the only people who cared about me. These bastards just tried to ruin my life..The "pagan" thing is just an excuse for them to isolate people from their non-Witness relatives because they're afraid if you see real love you won't want their religion anymore. Good guess.

    Today is Christmas day and instead of being alone I was a guest at the homes of two families I care about! There was wonderful food, sights and aromas and the company of people who really like me. I am so glad to be out of that vacuum of a religion that words cannot suffice.

  • moreconfusedthanever

    My mum chose the cult when I was 3 or 4. There are photos of me as a baby by a Christmas tree but I have no memory of celebrating.

    Christmas and Easter too were horrible times to be at school. Teachers were mean and hated the witness kids who would refuse to colour in a tree or an egg.

    Having worked in a school I have seen and heard the experience from the other side. In my class we had a Hindu boy who was not allowed to celebrate either. The teacher made sure to make him suffer. Every day during the Easter period and Christmas period she would remind the class that he was not allowed to join in and shake her head and say how sad it was. These children were 5 year olds.

    She made no effort to adjust her curriculum to him and seemed to take pleasure in torturing him. I told her that it wouldn't be hard to find worksheets for him to do that were not ",holiday" based and just to give them to him quietly so as not to make him feel even more isolated than he already was. She didn't do it of course but I hope it made her think about what she was doing to him. These children have no choice in the matter I felt so bad for him because I knew exactly what he was going through.

    Even when still "in" I would let my kids go to the discos and end of year concerts and I would get all their friends a small gift and a blank card (not Christmas) that the kids could write them an end of year message and if they got Christmas cards I would let them keep them.

    I can't see us celebrating Christmas as a family any time soon because to me it's so commercialized and it annoys me that they still insist on celebrating Jesus birthday in December when it is widely known to be a pagan celebration. I won't do it just because everyone else is doing it. But it is nice not to feel guilty about saying ", thank you and you too" when someone wishes you a merry Christmas.

  • Listener

    When I was 8 and on Grade 3, I as lucky enough to be the teachers pet, I thought she was a lovely teacher and we just bonded.

    She knew about my religion and not once as I ever made to feel uncomfortable, either by her or the other kids, she seemed to have a knack at making everything seem normal even when festive activities were a focus.

    At the end of the year, the last day of her class, she gave each of us children in her class a passing gift. As I saw the gifts being handed out, I cringed. Each kid unwrapped their present and all the girls were being given a Santa hanky and a Santa broach. But when I opened mine, there was a beautiful butterfly broach and a Santa hanky. I was overwhelmed with her thoughtfulness.

    I brought it home and knew I had to show it to my father and I thought he would take it away from me, because it was still a xmas gift. I told him how she had given all the other girls a Santa broach and just how thoughtful she was in respecting our beliefs but obviously still wanted to give me a present. Surprisingly, my father agreed, I think he saw my delight and I couldn't believe it when he said nothing about the hanky, but I was never stupid enough to let that hanky see the day of light again, it as my little treasure and I wore the butterfly broach with my deepest appreciation for this lady.

    She also gave me some of her class teaching materials (reading cards/maths aids), I'll never forget her.

  • zeb

    To JW parents out there. Take note and realize your decisions in life impact so cruelly on your kids and realize to what little s*** other kids and adults' too can be because of your decisions in life.

    With our kids yes there was no Christmas but they got gifts a plenty at the end of the school year which here is usually is two weeks before Christmas. This protected them from any of the nasties quoted so ably above and was a reward for their efforts at school.

    • and going to conventions was never the same as going on a holiday.
    • wt books were never meant or should have substituted for gifts.
    • nice clothes for kids particularly daughters growing up should be for them not bought for conventions.
    • In plain words jw parents get a bloody life.
  • WTWizard

    Giving back a gift? If I were in that position, I would have informed the father that this is why I would never become a jokehovian witless. They can't even accept acts of kindness without creating a scene. And I suppose that money would have had to be thrown away (donated toward the damnation of all mankind) had it not been returned.

    I hope the jokehovian cancer got coal for Christmas.

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