I was 5 years old when my mother was baptised. We went from celebrating Xmas to no presents or decorations. We would still go to my unbelieving Aunty's house on Xmas day, all of my cousins would be playing with their new toys and would wonder why I didn't have any.
When friends at school had birthday parties I would tell them I wasn't allowed to go. I would find myself saying things like 'we don't need to have one day to get presents, we get them all year round'. When all I wanted to was day to get presents and have a party.
I never really thought about how cruel that was of my mother until having my own children.
Last year we celebrated Xmas and we had parties for our children's birthdays. We enjoyed spending time together, giving gifts to our children and just having some precious family time.
Enjoying these holidays with my family last year has made me realise that I really missed out as a child. I was brainwashed into thinking that these holidays are Satanic. I never got to experience these magical family moments that I am now enjoying with my children.
I would be interested to know if you feel you missed out during your JW childhood?