It’s that time of year again–the Holidays. For most children in the United States, the holidays are a time of excitement and anticipation. There are some children, though, in every part of the world, who dread the coming of the holidays. These are the children of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Many people know that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas. They actually don’t celebrate any of the holidays, religious or governmental, or even birthdays. The Watchtower tells them that all holidays, except the celebration of the Lord’s death, are pagan holidays. (See Colossians 2:16-17 for the biblical view.)
As a child growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, I would tell people I couldn’t miss what I never had, whenever they were insensitive enough to ask me if I missed celebrating Christmas. I didn’t mean it; I was just parroting what my parents told me.
I did miss having Christmas. I missed the joy that it seemed to bring to the people with whom I went to school and in my neighborhood. Deep down I missed it all. But I never truly felt the loss until I finally experienced Christmas for myself.
This feeling of missing Christmas happened to me today.
My seven-year-old granddaughter Megan, who until last year was being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, came down to visit. About a month before Christmas last year, her parents decided that they would let the kids celebrate Christmas. It was quite crazy around here, but we managed to have a very Merry Christmas last year.
So today, when Megan came in the house, I asked her if she wanted to watch a Christmas movie with me. She told me that they had watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas already, but that she would be happy to watch it again, so we did. After she left, I cried.
I cried tears of joy for being able to watch a Christmas movie with my grandchild. It was the first time. Such a silly little thing to most I imagine.
But I got to experience again that feeling of the first Christmas I had had at 19. It was something that I missed enjoying, but didn’t know how much until I did celebrate the birth of Christ. Now I am beginning to realize that there are a whole lot of other things I have missed doing with my grandchildren that I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy with them yet! I can’t wait to start!
So, if you see a little old lady acting giddy over the smallest of Christmas celebrations, just remember me. Some of us are getting to celebrate these little joys of Christmas for the very first time with these little people we love so much!
And if you know of a child who is a Jehovah’s Witness, please keep in mind that this child is programmed to not to want to celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t mean that child doesn’t miss the joy of this season.
The joy of giving. Yes, it is better to give than to receive, but that doesn’t mean there is no joy in receiving, too. If you have one of these children in your sphere of influence, give them some little gift before or after December 25th, unwrapped or wrapped in plain wrapping paper. I guarantee this giving will bring you more Christmas joy than you can imagine, and you will be sharing it with a child who would otherwise never get the chance to feel this joy, …
…the joy of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ.
Jesus, God’s Son who came to earth in the womb of the Virgin Mary. (Luke 1:26-35)
He lived a sinless life (1 Peter 2:21-24) and then become the Perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29).
He gave His life and conquered death by His resurrection that we might experience the gift of salvation if we only believe in Him and receive His gift of eternal life.
Romans Road–follow it to life in Christ: Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 11:6; 4:5; 10:9; 10:13