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I don't get it...

So my H family is Jehovah Witness.  They don't celebrate Christmas or birthdays.  MIL gets depressed when she sees former members of the church celebrating.

BUT....they got married on Dec 24.  And every year, the whole family gets together and celebrates the anniversary, which is allowed in the church.  The kids all chip in for a present for the parents.  And the adults buy the kids presents too I guess.  (We are always working, and have not gone.)  The kids are writing on facebook today about how excited they are to see the family for "Anniversary".  Some out of town relatives come in for it also.

Recently, his sister asked my daughter if she would make some heart shape cookies around Valentine's Day, but not ON Valentines Day.

So I don't understand the point of not celebrating a holiday, when it is obvious they really do want to have a holiday, and it is like a pseudo holiday.  I guess it is something I don't quite understand. 

Oh well....they are so much fun to be around, so I guess they can call it what they want.  I wish I could go actually, if we weren't both working.
BabyFruit Ticker

Re: I don't get it...

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    Yea, that does seem quite odd, but oh well. I guess a celebration with family and friends is better than nothing!
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    I don't understand the not celebrating either. My cousin has tried to explain it to me, but I guess I just don't understand the interpretation they took from the Bible. And why you can celebrate some things and not others is beyond me.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dont-7?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5bb13441-ab64-4b1c-81f4-939be6779ec7Post:084cdcd8-f631-4dab-bc4d-0494d2eacc03">Re: I don't get it...</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't understand the not celebrating either. My cousin has tried to explain it to me, but I guess I just don't understand the interpretation they took from the Bible. And why you can celebrate some things and not others is beyond me.
    Posted by brookelynpaisley[/QUOTE]
    I have family members who are Jehovah's Witnesses, and was raised in the religion most of my life (although I was never a follower).   There are different reasons for each holiday that they don't celebrate.  Most holidays have Pagan roots, and were adopted by the Christians in an attempt to garner more fellowship, so that in and of itself makes them wrong to celebrate (in the JW's eyes).

    Sascha,

    As for "Anniversary" being like a pseudo-Christmas, I get what you're saying, but I don't really agree.  I can see how someone would think that's what it is.

    When my mom converted from being Catholic, she stopped celebrating Christmas.  However, giving us gifts, and finding a day every year to get together and just have fun as a family was really important to her.  After a few years of no holidays she started "Snow Day."  The first real snow of the year we would get each other a gift (usually in November).  It was nice because it was far enough from Christmas that it didn't really seem like a replacement for it, but we also didn't feel totally left out because we had that important celebration just like everyone else does.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
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    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
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    It just makes it so much more confusing that some celebrations are ok and they love to all get together and drink wine and have fun.  But won't acknowledge Valentines, New Years, 4th of July.  I don't even think Thanksgiving, and that is not even biblical in origin!

    But anniversaries and weddings and showers are fine.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dont-7?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5bb13441-ab64-4b1c-81f4-939be6779ec7Post:6e1c09f0-ec0a-4e94-97db-5ffd76d46d71">Re: I don't get it...</a>:
    [QUOTE]It just makes it so much more confusing that some celebrations are ok and they love to all get together and drink wine and have fun.  But won't acknowledge Valentines, New Years, 4th of July.  I don't even think Thanksgiving, and that is not even biblical in origin! But anniversaries and weddings and showers are fine.
    Posted by saschaduran[/QUOTE]

    Hopefully this will give you a bit of a better perspective on why some are okay and some aren't.  I don't want to go in depth, because I doubt anyone cares, so this is just a brief overview.

    Valentine's Day is to celebrate a Saint, which JWs do not believe in.
    4th of July and Thanksgiving are National Holidays.  JWs do not get involved in politics at all, so to support national holidays would be hypocritical.

    Most other holidays would fit into the 3 categories of National/Worldly, Pagan, or Saintly.

    Birthdays are another matter.  There are only a few birthdays mentioned in the bible.  In every instance the people celebrating were not god's followers, and they involved violence in their celebrations (John the Baptist was decapitated as a birthday gift).

    Weddings and Anniversaries are celebrations of milestones in life, and celebrating life's milestones doesn't go against god's teachings.  In fact, Jesus went to a wedding, and performed the miracle of turning water into wine.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
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    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
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    Bethrothed...I like that your mom did that!  I am not religious at all, so Christmas is not relevant to me because of Jesus, but more of a day for family and celebration of loving your family and friends.  So the idea of just making it a random day would actually be something I would consider if it were that important to my husband.  

    My husband has explained to me the origin of most holidays being pagan, so I do "get" that part to an extent.  But I just feel sometimes the actions don't mesh with the thought behind it. 

    I will be forever confused by any and all religion so I should just take it as it is.  I am very grateful tough that his family is so open and accepting and loving to those outside of the religion.  I think they are harsher on the members of the church than they are on people who have a different faith or no faith, and they never preach to me about any of it.  So at least I am completely comfortable when I am around them...as religion does not enter the conversation.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    Thanks betrothed...I think you were typing while I was:)

    I knew about the pagan and the saints, but the political part was new to me...that explains it a little better as to why they don't celebrate Thanksgiving and 4th of July.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    Sascha,

    I totally hear you.  Religion in general confuses me, and I really dislike it.  It just doesn't make sense to me.

    I would agree with you that JWs tend to be harder on those within their religion.  Everyone that I was close with in the religion while growing up would still be there for me at the drop of a hat, but I never immersed myself into the religion and gave them hope that I'd one day be a follower.  One of the members decided to stop following certain "rules" and she was disfellowshipped.  No one will speak to her.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
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    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
    my read shelf:
    Betrothed 123's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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    Glad I could help you understand it a little better :)
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
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    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
    my read shelf:
    Betrothed 123's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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    That was helpful to me too actually. Most of my mom's side of the family is JW, and they could never explain it to me that well. My grandma (not JW) used to get all upset because she couldn't have huge holiday parties, so she started having a Fall Party and a Spring Party instead of Thanksgiving and Easter. It worked well while she still did it.

    A little off topic: One of my mom's sisters and her husband converted to JW when their kids were about 13 and 15 years old, and took them to meetings and such as well.  I always felt bad for the kids, because in their minds (at least from what they told me), they had spent their whole lives getting gifts and celebrating Christmas and birthdays, and all of a sudden they were taken away. I mean they still got gifts throughout the year for other reasons or no reason at all, but still. I'd be sad if all of a sudden at 15 I had no more birthday.

    However, the conversion didn't stick, and now the kids are 22 and 25, and no one in the family is JW anymore.
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    My mom converted when I was 10 or 11, so we had certainly already set a precedent of celebrating holidays by that time.  It was certainly difficult.  My sister is 3.5 years younger than me, so I think that's part of the reason she still follows.  She doesn't even really remember doing all those things we did before Mom's conversion.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
    image
    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
    my read shelf:
    Betrothed 123's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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    My dad converted for his wife after I was an adult. They used to insist we come over on Thanksgiving and Christmas because (and this is what they used to tell us) "everyone rndomly has the same day off so we should celebrate it by getting together". Needless to say, this made things very difficult for us, because we had more family that does celebrate then them, and they wouldn't switch their celebration to a different day because then it wouldn't be because everyone had the day off.
    After about one year, we put our foot down and explained that even if they don't celebrate the particular holiday, we do, and so does the rest of the both of our families and it was difficult for us to go over and spend all day not celebrating something we celebrate. Eventually they gave in, and no longer hold (or at least invite) us to the celebrations.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dont-7?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5bb13441-ab64-4b1c-81f4-939be6779ec7Post:e3da9585-b6ea-475b-935e-a91f9a915244">Re: I don't get it...</a>:
    [QUOTE]My dad converted for his wife after I was an adult. They used to insist we come over on Thanksgiving and Christmas because (and this is what they used to tell us) "everyone rndomly has the same day off so we should celebrate it by getting together". Needless to say, this made things very difficult for us, because we had more family that does celebrate then them, and they wouldn't switch their celebration to a different day because then it wouldn't be because everyone had the day off. After about one year, we put our foot down and explained that even if they don't celebrate the particular holiday, we do, and so does the rest of the both of our families and it was difficult for us to go over and spend all day not celebrating something we celebrate. Eventually they gave in, and no longer hold (or at least invite) us to the celebrations.
    Posted by niffycat[/QUOTE]
    That's just strange.  The few holidays where we went to my grandparents' for a holiday my mom wouldn't come.  They'd tell her we weren't celebrating Thanksgiving, we were just eating a huge turkey, with all the trimmings, just because.  Yeah, it doesn't work that way.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
    image
    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
    my read shelf:
    Betrothed 123's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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    TLV....I think it is so annoying when people cannot explain their own religion.  Its like they follow it so blindly they actually have no knowledge of what it really is about.  My H is actually very very well versed in JW and many other religions.  The problem is when he tries to explain things to me my eyes gloss over and I stop paying attention after the first 3 minutes and he gets annoyed when I ask him the same questions over and over because I never listen when he does tell me.

    Niffy...that sounds extremely annoying and totally plays into the whole thing I felt about the hypocrisy of insisting on one set of beliefs but having psuedo-holidays.

    Betrothed...my H was disfellowshiped...I know I have talked about it before on here...and he went through very hard times over it.  It kept our guest list down though:)  I have been clear from day one that I have zero interest.  I was invited to a meeting once, and instead of making a I'm busy excuse I flat out said I was not comfortable attending, but thanked them for the thought.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_dont-7?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5bb13441-ab64-4b1c-81f4-939be6779ec7Post:a4359a05-faa3-41ab-bc82-cfae6b475259">Re: I don't get it...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Betrothed...my H was disfellowshiped...I know I have talked about it before on here...and he went through very hard times over it.  It kept our guest list down though:)  I have been clear from day one that I have zero interest.  I was invited to a meeting once, and instead of making a I'm busy excuse I flat out said I was not comfortable attending, but thanked them for the thought.
    Posted by saschaduran[/QUOTE]
    I don't know the circumstances surrounding his being disfellowshipped, but judging by the way the one person I referenced was treated, I'm sure it was very hard on him to lose friends and family like that.  I'm sorry he had to experience that.

    I don't blame you for not wanting to be involved.  When H was asked he decided to give it a chance, and found out that he really disagreed with some of the fundamental teachings, explained that to the people who invited him and he was done with it.  It really is not for everyone, especially someone who is close to a member who was hurt by JWs.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
    image
    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
    my read shelf:
    Betrothed 123's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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