A Bittersweet Season

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I married into a Jehovah’s Witness family, so I have not celebrated Christmas since 1994.  They believe real Christians shouldn’t celebrate a holiday that has its origins in pagan Roman traditions because first century Christians did not celebrate birthdays or Christmas.  I suppose they have a point.  But being a Jehovah’s Witness is not really who I am any more.  The faith has left me more or less alone and isolated, and I don’t have much to do with them any more. My son is in the Marine Corps, a situation that caused him to be disfellowshipped and thrown out of the faith.  I am celebrating the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas with my son, home on leave.   He came home in time to help with my hospitalization recently for a heart scare that turned out to be nothing.  While all of that was going on, I self-published my novel Snow Babies, a book that is built from a lot of old Christmas memories and holiday regrets. We always need to do more to help others.  We need to come together more and care more and feel more and remember. Christmas is a time when people traditionally respond to those needs.  So I am living with that heightened sense of a special time of year again, for the first time in a long time.  And it means everything to me.  So that is it for the moment.  This is my merry time, and I have to hold on to every bit of it that I can.


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7 responses to “A Bittersweet Season

  1. ts origins in pagan Roman traditions because first century Christians did not celebrate birthdays or Christmas. I suppose they have a point. But being a Jehovah’s

    Of course they did not celebrate Christmas. Christmas wasn’t invented yet. Naturally they never celebrated any of Christian benchmarks of yearly calendar of Christian religion for same reason. No Christmas does not have pagan origins, never did. The early Church made a political move and aligned it at same time as Roman Saturnalia to draw people into celebration of Christ’s birth as Jesus probably born in summer. It was really a membership drive.

    • I knew there had to be a good reason why I could never fully embrace their religious teachings.

      • I have BA religious studies Florida Southern College ’71 and MA religious studies Barry College ’80. Most of my studies were history, some phil, some psych, some soc, , ethics, scholars and thinkers. Kind of weak in actual Biblical scholarship. I do attend men’s Bible study at Faith Presbyterian Church here in Greensboro, NC. Last year I gave myself an assignment and some days copied a page, some days half a page, some days nothing , some days several pages. Took about 11 months at that rate but I filled 6 spiral notebooks and hand wrote the entire New Testament, After a 3 decade absence I do attend church every Sunday for 3 years now. Lived in Miami 60 years but most of traditional Protestants relatively few in number now and old European ethnic Catholics and Jews have also evaporated away. Huge Cuban population and other Hispanic replaced much of Catholic loss last 40 years and other Caribbean have created a huge number of independent churches and storefronts. J Wit and 7th D population has grown enormously among them. I don’t know very much about the 2 denominations except that some beliefs seem pretty bizarre to me. I lived in predominantly Haitian neighborhood. But one positive thing I can say is that the high school kids I taught and their parents were very moral and reserved and not inclined to be associated with the huge criminal element of all sorts in Miami Dade County and had rich family values. If that’s the kind of people these 2 denominations produce then they believe and are taught some very peaceful and positive things about daily living in Christian testimony. So I give them due credit for that.

      • I have to agree with you that JW’s are very peaceful and make excellent citizens. That is because they are literalists and teach Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness. People who practice what they preach are rare and all the more valuable as citizens. They do also interpret the Bible in ways I cannot fully accept. I have read the entire Bible two and a half times. Both the Standard Version I got as a Methodist, and the JW Bible. You wouldn’t believe the changes you can make by quibbling about the commas and the core meaning of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words.

      • I am impressed by your background knowledge. 😀

  2. Sounds like the journey has moved into different territory. Sounds like that’s a good thing. Hope it is…

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