Serena Williams's daughter Alexis Olympia is marking a big milestone this weekend – she's turning one! But the tennis champion has revealed the simple reason the family won't be celebrating. According to the Daily Mail, Serena, who is currently competing in the US Open, said at a press conference: "Olympia doesn't celebrate birthdays. We're Jehovah's Witnesses, we don't do that."
Practising Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, national holidays or other celebrations they consider to honour people other than Jesus. The belief is also that such customs have pagan origins. In contrast, practising Witnesses believe in spontaneous giving at other times of the year, so that children do not feel deprived of birthdays.
Olympia is turning one on Saturday
Serena, 36, was raised a Jehovah's Witness but she admits she has "never really practised it". In an interview with Vogue last year, 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." She regularly thanks Jehovah after winning tennis matches. Meanwhile, Serena said of her husband Alexis Ohanian: "Alexis didn't grow up going to any church, but he's really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first."
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Back in 2002, the mother-of-one also told ASAP Sports: "I am Jehovah's Witness. I think if you don't believe in God, it's going to be tough to live life because pretty much that's the basis of life, it comes from God. Being a Jehovah's Witness, obviously we believe in God and the Bible. And without Him, I wouldn't be here right now. I really thank Him for everything."
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Serena and Reddit co-founder Alexis welcomed their adorable baby daughter in September 2017. They married two months later in a lavish ceremony in New Orleans attended by a number of stars including Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Eva Longoria.
Serena regularly shares photos and videos of her little tot and gets candid about motherhood on her social media pages, recently writing on Instagram: "Kids humble us. The other day on a flight home Olympia had so much energy and insisted on running up and down the aisle. When I finally got her to calm down and sit still, she threw up all over me and in the aisle. #ThisMama wants to remind all mothers the importance of supporting one another through the highs, lows, laughs and tears."
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