A Very Merry Christmas!

My dear readers,

I am sitting here at work listening to Christmas music and it is so beautiful and I am, once again, just overcome with emotion at how much I love this season….how much I love Christmas.  I know I’ve said it before, but one of the greatest joys for me in leaving the meetings was having the freedom to celebrate Christmas finally….both spiritually and physically.

In my family, we always celebrated Christmas with a tree, presents, cookies and decorations UNTIL the mid 1960’s when the edict came up the West Coast of the US that it was WRONG to celebrate Christmas.  It was ok until then!  Honest!  We kept making cookies and exchanging presents at our house but no more trees or pretty decorations.  It was awful.

So for the next 4 decades I wasn’t allowed to participate in Christmas.  I hated it and resented it.  The worst was being on Special Meeting rounds when I was in the Work over the holidays and of course, the friends would have been terrified to mention Christmas with us workers around.  I know most of the friends would have been so GLAD when we finally left so they could maybe at least have a holiday dinner.  Again, it was awful.

I remember after the holidays were over and we went back to our fields, in one area I was in, they were ranchers and farmers and I would see old dried up Christmas trees out by their burn barrels and I would smile to myself and say “Good for them!”  They had to wait until we were out of the area and then they could celebrate with their families.

It bothered me to no end (especially my last few years in the Work) because here we were, supposedly such a ‘religious’ group, and yet we ignored and BANNED the two most famous Christian holidays; Christmas and Easter.  It was SO wrong in my opinion and yes, I prayed and prayed about it.

Therefore, when I finally broke away from the meetings, I never miss a Christmas Eve service or an Easter service at a church somewhere.  I cry and laugh during the singing of the Christmas carols.  I love celebrating the birth of Christ corporately with other believers.  It feels so right.

I’m also not ashamed to say I put up my tree and other decorations in my condo the day after Thanksgiving.  I can’t wait!  It’s the only time all year that my house looks different.  It’s so dark outside and the lights inside and the candles are so cozy and welcoming.  And yes, I put up lights outside to bring joy to others passing by.

I absolutely love this season and probably more so than some because I was denied the joy of celebrating it for the majority of my life.  But no more!!  I just might leave my decorations up till February!  Who knows!

So, again, a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “A Very Merry Christmas!

  1. Darla, thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences here. We have a nice Christmas tradition now. My kids loved helping pick out the tree this year and then participated in the decorations under the supervision of my lovely wife.

    It brings such joy to see them enjoy the holidays and to do so openly without worrying about repercussions, like so many of us had.

    Thank you also for the opportunity to share my experience here on your blog. It was truly cathartic for me!

    Merry Christmas from all of us in the Tull family!

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    • Thank you Adam! Today is Christmas Eve….may you go outside tonight even for just a few minutes and just be present in this most Holy Night….this Silent Night. I have no words for what this all means to me. All I can do is Praise Him.

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  2. When we first left meeting and started meeting with other Christians and learning how they celebrate Christmas it was such a blessing to finally worship the birth of Christ our King in such a Holy manner. This liberty brings me such feelings of awesome joy but humility at the same time. Merry Christmas my friend and all your Readers!

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  3. It seems that every year since I quit going to the “truth meetings” (15 years now), the meaning of Christmas becomes more and more special. I too love thinking about, and celebrating, the incarnation of Christ. Jesus (i.e. God the Son) left heaven’s glories to humble himself SO MUCH by coming to this earth as a human that He might be the only acceptable sacrifice for mankind’s reconciliation to God the Father. I can’t think of anything else in all this life that’s worthy of more praise and celebrating! Yes, we should be mindful & thankful of that every day of the year, but I see nothing wrong with having a certain date set aside to especially praise and honor Him!

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  4. Ho oh ho……I am listening right now to “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer “…as I prepare for friends and family starting tomorrow….
    As far back as I remember we always have special Christmas food….and played carols…..no Christmas tree …. As kids we would hurry to bed on Christmas Eve so we can get up early to open our Christmas gifts…. I remember once getting 3 bicycles for us older ones….yes, Christmas is always so cheerful….
    Where I live there is a channel that plays carols all day…..and night…. This year I actually listened to some of the words…..I love ‘Where are you ,Christmas ‘,by Faith Hill …. Christmas is here, everywhere…..Christmas is here ,if you care……if there is love in your heart and your mind….you will feel like Christmas ….all the time…..and My grown -up Christmas list….by Kelly Clarkson….. Especially the one that says…..Heaven only knows ……,that packages and bows ,can never heal a hurting human soul…..so this year I just want to share the love…… and just be a friend……..
    May we all experience the Peace that passes all understanding ,and Joy that Christ is risen and He is Lord….and HE loves us all!

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  5. Thank you so much for your comments about Christmas Darla! Christmas was such a stressful time when I was professing! Wanting a fun time for our daughter yet having to hide things and be careful of upsetting others! One of the most amusing things was wanting a tree but I was told this was not a good idea as it was worldly and sent the wrong message; however, this same person, a hearty professing friend, proceeded to hang tree boughs all along her living room wall with red ribbon! So I commented that I guess the tree was ok as long as it was apart! She was not amused!

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  6. Darla, DITTO!!!!! Except that we were on the “friends” side of that instead of the “workers”!! And now with great joy and pleasure, we celebrate Christmas!!!! I so well remember in grade school that we were allowed to sing the carols as they were practiced for the Christmas program, but NEVER could we attend the evening program!! I hated that! At least our parents bought us gifts so that when the school holiday was over, we at least could show off our new toys/dolls/games etc. to our friends! I wonder what our neighbors thought about the “strict Christians” who “didn’t believe in Christmas”? Seems like a real paradox looking back…….

    And now that we have left the group, we enjoy the season more and more!! We put up a tree, decorate inside and out, and love it all! The only thing I refuse to embrace is “Santa Claus”. We instead try to focus entirely on “the reason for the season”, the amazing gift of God to fallen man…..His Only Begotten Son!! We read again the book, ‘Why the Nativity” which is a concise but beautifully written little book about Christmas. We read it a chapter or two at a time, and especially like to read it to our grandchildren. We remind the grandchildren that God’s gift and love are what we want to commemorate with our own gift exchanges. When the focus is on Christ, He has “preeminence in all things” as instructed in the scriptures.

    Yes, it is a challenge to steer clear of the blatant commercialism of the season, but focusing on the Christ helps keep things in perspective, does it not? Community service is more rewarding than more “stuff” from the mall, isn’t it?

    Yes, Darla, I am with you…….this is a wonderful season of joy!!!!

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