First birthday parties are a big deal, and that’s often especially true for celebrities. In fact, plenty of stars throw extravagant bashes for their toddler-to-be. However, Serena Williams is not one of those stars. In fact, the tennis champion recently revealed that Olympia will not celebrate her first birthday or any birthday for that matter — at least not in the conventional sense.
At a press conference for the U.S. Open on Saturday, Williams explained why she and husband Alexis Ohanian aren’t planning a party for their daughter.
“Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that,” People reported.
According to the official Jehovah’s Witness website, followers of the church don’t celebrate birthdays “because we [they] believe that such celebrations displease God.” What’s more, “although the Bible does not explicitly forbid celebrating birthdays, it does help us to reason on key features of these events and understand God’s view of them.”
Of course, this may be surprising to some — as birthday parties are often beautiful celebrations of another year (or the first year!) in someone’s life. But according to the Jehovah’s Witness site, Witnesses don’t need such celebrations because they believe in expressing their love “throughout the year, including giving them gifts and having enjoyable gatherings.” What’s more, many Witness children prefer this approach; one child was quoted on the website as saying, “It’s more fun getting a gift when you’re least expecting it.”
That said, while there won’t be cake, presents, pomp or circumstance for little Olympia this Saturday, we’re pretty sure she’ll have a happy birthday nonetheless.