I remember when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's the thought of even looking at a Birthday card was thought to be Satanic. Now I hear that JW's are alittle lax on celebrating Holidays. My niece who is not a JW but lives with my Mom who is a devout JW had christmas lights in her room and the elders came over to my mom's house and did not raise cain and abel. Are JW's a little more lenient with holidays now then when I was a kid. I remember a sister was "publicly reproved" for having a christmas tree in her house for her non-jw husband. What are the rules now regarding holidays? Can you be "reproved" or "disfellowshipped" or "disassociated" now for celebrating holidays?
Do JW's disfellowship or reprove JW's for celebrating Holidays and birthday
If you are a JW and celebrate holidays, you arn't really a JW. I'm sure its a DFing offence, because they'll call it Idolatry and DF you for that. They can't really DF you for celebrating, but if those celebrations involve their opinion of idols, you'd better watch out. IF they can't nail you down on something, they'll just stop associating with you (which is great in my book) and hope you leave their community. They aren't too fond of people who think for themselves and don't do exactly what the GB tells them to.
I have heard no rumours suggesting a more relaxed views on holidays. Don't expect to see one either, as that is one of the biggest things that "separates them from the world."
Religious holiday are one thing and birthday parties are another................they don't pursue those who celebrate birthdays, but celebrating the other religious holidays are disfellowshipping offenses.
Our family were very prominent in this area, as JW's since 1950. We all were open about acknowledging family birthdays, even sending cards. It was no big deal, and we always looked at it as a family matter, but didn't try to hide it. No one ever talked to us about it or even looked sideways at us, over that issue. We didn't have parties, or a birthday cake, or presents, but we certainly talked about "today is your birthday", etc. I can't remember a year my mother hasn't called me on my birthday, and I know she would be terribly hurt if I forgot her birthday and didn't at least take her to lunch that day. She is a very faithful JW, even now, at age 92.
I don't think it is just that part of South Seattle, because I've lived North of Seattle for over 40 years, and it was the same way in the congregation we attended here.
I did hear recently that they pretty much ignore the birthday issue.
As far as my experience goes, it was a strict NO on any holidays-including birthdays...because afterall John the Baptist had his hear cut off because of a birthday. I don't remember any witnesses celebrating anything BUT I also remember there being different rule books for different people...
There was a new rule about wives with non-JW husbands (circa 2001?) stating that if their husband required them to cook Xmas lunch and/or were directed to get Xmas presents for people, that they should do it.
My sister and her husband are still JWs. Their daughter (my niece who DA'ed herself) lives with them and now has a little girl of her own.
One year, business and her anniversary trip brought us both to Orlando at the same time where my sister and I relived old times at Disney world. While she was there, she was searching every gift shop for princess costume items (slippers, tiara, etc) for a costume party her grand-daughter was going to. Oh, by the way, this was very late in October. She didn't say the obvious, but my niece confirmed it was a Halloween party. My sister isn't stupid. She'd have to know it was a Halloween party and she was helping shop for the costume.
My niece also tells me they buy the grand-kids birthday gifts. They also buy them Christmas presents, but not exactly "at" Christmas. They do it a couple of weeks before or after.
This may not be what all JWs do. And what my sister does is kind of secretive. She doesn't admit it's a Halloween party and always called it a "costume party" and they give gifts *near* Christmas, not *on* Christmas.
Maybe it's just a case of JWs who only half-heartedly believe in the religion. So they half-heartedly follow the rules.
You better believe they do! Nevertheless, many JWs celebrate both in their privacy.
To Little-Toe's point -
The WT seemed to make an allowance for JW women with 'worldly' husbands. In so many words, they told these women to do what their husband demands regarding holidays.
I found this quite telling. I believe that this crap will loosen up over the next few years - they have bigger fish to fry.