“We Are Not Deprived!”
Comments have been made by schoolteachers and others that the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses are deprived by not being allowed to join in the fun of school celebrations of Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. Following is a small sampling of comments of children who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, expressing in letters why they themselves decline to have any part in celebrating these holidays.
“ALTHOUGH I explained to my schoolmates why I didn’t celebrate these things, they still felt I was being deprived. But I wasn’t! See, they always had to wait until their Christmas or some other holiday to get gifts, while I was given things and went to parties all year round. I know I’m loved not only by my family but by the congregation and Jehovah as well, and that is more special to me than any holiday.”—Becky, age 13.
“I know that all of the holidays have bad backgrounds. Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas. My family doesn’t have to do anything to compensate for such holidays. My family is always there for me whenever I need them. That is worth more to me than any gift that they could ever give me.”—Josh, age 15.
“Christmas. I’m not deprived because it’s not really Christian anyway. I’d rather know my parents gave me a present than some mysterious Santa figure. Easter. With Easter it’s really hard because people will say it’s for ‘Jesus and the resurrection’ or it’s just ‘going to hunt eggs.’ But what do eggs have in common with Jesus anyway? Even the name Easter comes from an old goddess. Halloween. The basic idea of Halloween doesn’t appeal at all to me. Ghosts and witches, YUCK!”—Katie, age 10.
“As a youth I have never felt bitter about missing the celebrations of worldly holidays. I have not been told by my parents that ‘you can’t do this or that because you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,’ but I have been familiarized with the Bible and Jehovah’s views on these holidays. As for gifts, in our house, gift-giving is all year long.”—Ryan, age 17.
“Every holiday is celebrating something false and is focused on false things. Most of the kids I know celebrate holidays for the candy or presents. Something that I have that is better than holidays is the wonderful organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instead of lasting one day, like a holiday, Jehovah God’s Word has a happy message that lasts forever.”—Brooke, age 14.
“Reasons I don’t miss holidays: 1. The Bible says they’re bad. 2. I don’t care about them. 3. My mommy and daddy give me presents.”—Brandi, age 6.
“I don’t feel deprived. I don’t care. I get presents, and we play games and have parties. I get lots of things without having to celebrate holidays. I want to stay a Witness whatever I do and nothing can turn me back.”—Brianne, age 9.
“I’m going into fifth grade and I’m not sad to admit that I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. One time a boy said to me that I must feel bad because I didn’t get any gifts at Christmas, but I said I get gifts all year. Then he said I was lucky. I think there should not be a Jehovah’s Witness who feels sorry about being a Jehovah’s Witness.”—Jeff, age 10.
“My sister and I made celebrating our parents’ anniversary our own family holiday. I got the greatest joy out of planning presents and cards and things and helping my parents plan things to surprise each other than I ever did getting gifts from anyone. Giving is better than receiving.”—Rachel, age 16.
“When I was younger, some holidays were hard for me. But later I realized that the holidays can cause greed, arguments, and sadness. When there are set times for giving, you are never surprised with a gift. I would rather get special gifts at any time of the year. To celebrate or not to celebrate is just a small part of a much larger decision: whether or not to dedicate yourself to serve Jehovah. When I think of it like that, the right choice is clear.”—Ben, age 13.
“There were times when I was small that I felt I was missing out, but I later laughed when I thought how eggs, Jesus, and the Easter bunny all got together. When I was older and my parents explained to me how all the symbols originated, I found it disgusting. It hurt me to think how Jehovah and Jesus must feel to be connected with such pagan ideas.”—Alexa, age 18.
“Around Christmastime, being in school can be very depressing and can make you feel left out. Then I realized that celebrating Christmas can’t solve your problems, can’t draw your family together, and can’t make you happy. It’s only living by the Bible’s standards that can do this.”—Joe, age 15.
“Instead of having Christmas or any other holiday, we have Big Toys Day. We get a gift of money to spend on anything we like. One year I gave a speech to my class about my religion. Instead of following the world’s path, I set my own path to make the meetings, go out in field service, and make prayer part of my life. I am getting baptized this coming assembly.”—George, age 11.
“I love to get presents, and I do receive them all through the year. I’m not missing much when it comes to parties. I’m making Jehovah happy when I take a stand for the truth. It’s amusing to see some of my classmates who aren’t Christian, who are Hindu, Jewish, and so forth, celebrate Christmas and get gifts yet do not know what the holiday is all about.”—Julia, age 12.
“When I missed holidays at school I wasn’t regretful. The kids do a lot of weird things, like dress up on Halloween. I don’t miss it at all. I tell them how my parents buy me things all through the year. They tell me about their church and how boring it is, and I tell them about the meetings we have in the park, and they get jealous sometimes. But I’m not jealous of them. Summing up, I say only make friends that respect your beliefs and never let a student or a teacher force you to do anything against Jehovah’s will.”—Justin, age 12.
“Do I feel deprived? No, because we have other parties, and when people celebrate Christmas, the kids mainly think about Santa Claus, or at Easter they think about the Easter bunny, but I know they are from pagan religions. I like field service because it helps me focus on the truth.”—Sharon, age 8.
“I can honestly say that I have never felt uncomfortable about being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. My family and I have lots of fun. When there are parties at school my mom takes me out to lunch. My parents bring treats to school for no special reason and all the kids then know we have fun. I’m very close to my parents and when kids ask why I don’t celebrate holidays I tell them that I celebrate every day. How could any Witness feel left out?”—Megan, age 13.
“Halloween. Children dressing up as devils, comic-book characters—what for? The kids roam the streets going from one house to another getting bagfuls of candy. Or throwing eggs at houses, stringing toilet paper over trees, and the worst part is most parents go along with it.”—Zachary, age 10.
“I don’t have to wait for a special day to get presents. My mom and dad get me plenty of toys all the time. Halloween is the worship of dead spirits. It’s not right. The only God we should worship is Jehovah.”—Nicholas, age 6.