How did you feel on Christmas as a JW child?
This is obviously a question for born-ins like me. So, how did Christmas feel to you as a child? To me it was awful. Everyone was singing Christmas Carols at school in the weeks before Christmas. Being the only kid who doesn't do that sucks. You instantly become the one that's different from everyone else and thus the class weirdo. My parents wouldn't let me visit non-JW friends or relatives on Christmas. Obviously, no presents. No celebration. Nothing. It was kinda sad.
As a child, you feel left out. It doesn't help that all you can see on TV is Christmas movies and similar things. It's a time when everyone celebrates and you're stuck sitting in the house doing nothing. Or even worse, there were super fanatic dubs that wanted to go in service even on Christmas day. Of course, this made most people we visited quite mad.
But it wasn't all bad. I was free from school. Sometimes other JWs would come over and it would get quite celebratory despite the fact that we weren't celebrating anything. We would drink mulled wine. There was some cool stuff on TV too and I'd play video games with other kids.
My parents had this lame excuse that worldly people only show love to each other and give presents on Christmas while JWs do it all the time (which actually meant never). Generally, it was a pretty sucky time of the year, especially for a child that had to obey religiously fanatic parents. So, how was it for you? Equally shitty?
I would have to agree with everything you said.
In my family we did do things like have a family dinner and go out doors like skiing, tobogganing.
The hardest part was school and the going ons there.
In spite of being an atheist now, if I had children I would give them a Christmas, just for their sake.
I was the only dub kid in school in the city where I grew up...50's and 60's...so I did everything the other kids did....my parents didn't really care that much....school was freedom. The hard part was going back after break and all the questions about what you got for christmas. I learned great evasive skills as a child.
I felt like crap at Christmas time especially when we returned to school after the holidays. Other kids got Star Wars toys and I often got asked "what did you get for Christmas" and I felt embarrassed.
Oh, I forgot about the return to school part. All the teachers and students bragging about the things they did for Christmas and New Year's, the presents they got, they fun they had and I dreaded the moment when they'd ask me about all that.
When I was really little under the age of 7 we did Christmas because my grandmother was alive and she gave my parents money, no Christmas no money so we put up the tree and everything. It was great expect when an elder would stop by and we would drag the tree into the spare room. Even as a little kid I saw it was crazy to hide like that. I totally loved Christmas not just the presents but the time together with family and it just seemed like a happy time of the year. Than my grandmother died when year I was seven the first of December. That year no Christmas, no tree, no nothing.
For a little kid it was horrible, and that year was worse than horrible at school. I got made fun of and even beat up by a fellow JW little kid because I was so confused and just did not get why we had stopped so suddenly.
After that I hated Christmas time because it was depressing.
LITS - The part about hiding the tree is kinda funny. But sorry your grandmother died and you had a hard time after that, especially at school. I know first hand how hard school can be when you're made fun of or bullied. I think most JW kids are bullied at school.
Not having Xmas was (and is) no big deal. I had "worldly" grandparents who gave me £5 each at Xmas which would be like about £50 now I guess. But going to school afterwards evading the "what did you get?" kind of questions was difficult.
My mother actually used to get me something a few days after the 25th "in the sales" - I remember one year when I was about ten getting an Airfix kit (UK version of the type of Revell plastic models) of the Saturn V Apollo rocket that went to the moon which was all the rage in the late sixties early seventies. Another year I got a "Blue Pullman" Triang-Hornby train set.
So I just said that these presents were "for Xmas and that we got a good deal because they were cheaper after the holidays".
The defence mechanisms we learned eh?
To be honest I never really missed it as a kid. I think it's key for jw parents to substitute Christmas for another day. On saying that however it was at school where I ran into difficulty, and I used evasive skills. Lol. Even now although I dislike and want nothing more to do with the religion, I really can't be bothered with Christmas. Just another day for me.
My parents had this lame excuse that worldly people only show love to each other and give presents on Christmas while JWs do it all the time (which actually meant never). Generally, it was a pretty sucky time of the year, especially for a child that had to obey religiously fanatic parents.....cookiemaster
I heard that same crap every year..
God Help You if you disagreed,there would be Hell to Pay..