“We Don’t Do That”: As Jehovah’s Witnesses, Serena Williams Says Alexis Olympia Won’t Celebrate First Birthday

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Serena Williams Jehovah's Witness

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A first birthday for a child is usually a momentous occasion for parents. They tend to celebrate such a major milestone by having a party, letting the child play around in a cake and taking lots of pictures. But for Serena Williams and daughter Alexis Olympia, who will be one on September 1, there are no plans to acknowledge her birthday, let alone celebrate it.

During a press conference for the U.S. Open over the weekend, Williams was asked by a reporter what she had planned for Alexis’s first birthday, and the 36-year-old tennis ace explained that as a Jehovah’s Witness, and raising her daughter within that faith, they do not believe in birthday celebrations.

“Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays,” said Williams according to PEOPLE. “We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.”

According to an organizational website put together for Jehovah’s Witnesses, although the Bible doesn’t outright forbid birthday celebrations, “Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God.”

They also tend to think that birthdays have pagan roots, and that the only true commemoration should be of the death of Jesus Christ. Hence the reason they also don’t acknowledge a birthday for Christ (like Christmas).

Serena, along with her other sisters, became a Witness after her mother converted to the faith in the ’80s.

As for husband Alexis, she told Vogue last year that even though he didn’t grow up practicing a particular faith, he has helped her grow stronger in hers.

“He’s extremely smart but not a know-it-all. He’s curious about what he doesn’t know,” she said. “Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it. Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.”

Don’t feel sad for baby Alexis Olympia, especially since she is not deprived of anything. She is showered with gifts and love all-year round. Check out a few photos of baby girl living her best life:

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Welcome home momma

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She wanted to dress 80's

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Seeing us off. Flying baby style! @olympiaohanian

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