Christmas and New Year Holidays

 

 

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Dear Friends,

 

These are just one each of the many E.G. White references to Christmas and New Year holidays. There is one wherein Ellen White and Willie, her son, gave gifts to the children of a family and that was when Willie was an adult. It would be well for all to go to the White Estate Website and search the words Christmas and New Year.

 

http://egwwritings.whiteestate.org/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates$fn=default.htm$vid=default

 

This is quite a thorough treatise on Christmas and the Bible:

 

http://answers.org/holidays/isgodaginxmas.html

 

 

Chap. Seventy-Seven Christmas

 

Christmas as a Holiday.--"Christmas is coming," is the note that is sounded throughout our world from east to west and from north to south. With youth, those of mature age, and even the aged, it is a period of general rejoicing, of great gladness. But what is Christmas, that it should demand so much attention? . . . {AH 477.1}

 

The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour's birth. History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, He would have spoken through His prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes. {AH 477.2}

 

In His wisdom the Lord concealed the place where He buried Moses. God buried him, and God resurrected him and took him to heaven. This secrecy was to prevent idolatry. He against whom they rebelled while he was in active service, whom they provoked almost beyond human endurance, was almost worshiped as God after his separation from them by death. For the very same purpose He has concealed the precise day of Christ's birth, that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world--one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as He who could save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The soul's

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adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God. {AH 477.3}

 

The Day Not to Be Ignored.--As the twenty-fifth of December is observed to commemorate the birth of Christ, as the children have been instructed by precept and example that this was indeed a day of gladness and rejoicing, you will find it a difficult matter to pass over this period without giving it some attention. It can be made to serve a very good purpose. {AH 478.1}

 

The youth should be treated very carefully. They should not be left on Christmas to find their own amusement in vanity and pleasure seeking, in amusements which will be detrimental to their spirituality. Parents can control this matter by turning the minds and the offerings of their children to God and His cause and the salvation of souls. {AH 478.2}

 

The desire for amusement, instead of being quenched and arbitrarily ruled down, should be controlled and directed by painstaking effort upon the part of the parents. Their desire to make gifts may be turned into pure and holy channels and made to result in good to our fellow men by supplying the treasury in the great, grand work for which Christ came into our world. Self-denial and self-sacrifice marked His course of action. Let it mark ours who profess to love Jesus because in Him is centered our hope of eternal life. {AH 478.3}

 

The Interchange of Gifts as Tokens of Affection.-- The holiday season is fast approaching with its interchange of gifts, and old and young are intently studying what they can bestow upon their friends as a token of affectionate remembrance. It is pleasant to receive a gift, however small, from those we love. It is an assurance that

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we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer. . . . {AH 478.4}

 

It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver. I would recommend such books as will be an aid in understanding the word of God or that will increase our love for its precepts. Provide something to be read during these long winter evenings. {AH 479.1}

 

Books for Children Are Recommended.--There are many who have not books and publications upon present truth. Here is a large field where money can be safely invested. There are large numbers of little ones who should be supplied with reading. The Sunshine Series, Golden Grains Series, Poems, Sabbath Readings, [NOTE: REFERENCE IS MADE IN THIS ARTICLE TO NONCURRENT PUBLICATIONS. AS THE PRINCIPLES SET FORTH IN THIS CONNECTION ARE APPLICABLE TODAY, THESE SPECIFIC REFERENCES ARE LEFT IN THE ARTICLE.] etc., are all precious books and may be introduced safely into every family. The many trifles usually spent on candies and useless toys may be treasured up with which to buy these volumes. . . . {AH 479.2}

 

Let those who wish to make valuable presents to their children, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces procure for them the children's books mentioned above. For young people the Life of Joseph Bates is a treasure; also the three volumes of The Spirit of Prophecy. [NOTE: EARLY E. G. WHITE BOOKS PRECEDING THE PRESENT "CONFLICT OF THE AGES SERIES."] These volumes should be placed in every family in the land. God is giving light from heaven, and not a family should be without it.

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Let the presents you shall make be of that order which will shed beams of light upon the pathway to heaven. {AH 479.3}

 

Jesus Not to Be Forgotten.--Brethren and sisters, while you are devising gifts for one another, I would remind you of our heavenly Friend, lest you should be unmindful of His claims. Will He not be pleased if we show that we have not forgotten Him? Jesus, the Prince of life, gave all to bring salvation within our reach. . . . He suffered even unto death, that He might give us eternal life. {AH 480.1}

 

It is through Christ that we receive every blessing. . . . Shall not our heavenly Benefactor share in the tokens of our gratitude and love? Come, brethren and sisters, come with your children, even the babes in your arms, and bring your offerings to God according to your ability. Make melody to Him in your hearts, and let His praise be upon your lips. {AH 480.2}

 

Christmas--a Time to Honor God.--By the world the holidays are spent in frivolity and extravagance, gluttony and display. . . . Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year's in needless indulgences. But it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age; and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite or for needless ornaments or articles of clothing, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God. {AH 480.3}

 

Christ should be the supreme object; but as Christmas has been observed, the glory is turned from Him to mortal man, whose sinful, defective character made it necessary for Him to come to our world.

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{AH 480.4}

 

Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, the royal King of heaven, laid aside His royalty, left His throne of glory, His high command, and came into our world to bring to fallen man, weakened in moral power and corrupted by sin, aid divine. . . . {AH 481.1}

 

Parents should keep these things before their children and instruct them, line upon line, precept upon precept, in their obligation to God--not their obligation to each other, to honor and glorify one another by gifts and offerings. {AH 481.2}

 

Turn Thoughts of the Children Into a New Channel.-- There are many things which can be devised with taste and cost far less than the unnecessary presents that are so frequently bestowed upon our children and relatives, and thus courtesy can be shown and happiness brought into the home. {AH 481.3}

 

You can teach your children a lesson while you explain to them the reason why you have made a change in the value of their presents, telling them that you are convinced that you have hitherto considered their pleasure more than the glory of God. Tell them that you have thought more of your own pleasure and of their gratification and of keeping in harmony with the customs and traditions of the world, in making presents to those who did not need them, than you have of advancing the cause of God. Like the wise men of old, you may offer to God your best gifts and show by your offerings to Him that you appreciate His Gift to a sinful world. Set your children's thoughts running in a new, unselfish channel by inciting them to present offerings to God for the gift of His only-begotten Son.

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{AH 481.4}

 

"Shall We Have a Christmas Tree?"--God would be well pleased if on Christmas each church would have a Christmas tree on which shall be hung offerings, great and small, for these houses of worship. [NOTE: REFERENCE IS MADE IN THIS ARTICLE TO CURRENT BUILDING PROJECTS. AS THE PRINCIPLES SET FORTH IN THIS CONNECTION ARE APPLICABLE TODAY, THESE SPECIFIC REFERENCES ARE LEFT IN THE ARTICLE.] Letters of inquiry have come to us asking, Shall we have a Christmas tree? Will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. There is no particular sin in selecting a fragrant evergreen and placing it in our churches, but the sin lies in the motive which prompts to action and the use which is made of the gifts placed upon the tree. {AH 482.1}

 

The tree may be as tall and its branches as wide as shall best suit the occasion; but let its boughs be laden with the golden and silver fruit of your beneficence, and present this to Him as your Christmas gift. Let your donations be sanctified by prayer. {AH 482.2}

 

Christmas and New Year celebrations can and should be held in behalf of those who are helpless. God is glorified when we give to help those who have large families to support. {AH 482.3}

 

A Tree Laden With Offerings Is Not Sinful.--Let not the parents take the position that an evergreen placed in the church for the amusement of the Sabbath school scholars is a sin, for it may be made a great blessing. Keep before their minds benevolent objects. In no case should mere amusement be the object of these gatherings. While there may be some who will turn these occasions into seasons of careless levity, and whose minds will not receive the divine impress, to other minds and characters

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these seasons will be highly beneficial. I am fully satisfied that innocent substitutes can be devised for many gatherings that demoralize. {AH 482.4}

 

Provide Innocent Enjoyment for the Day.--Will you not arise, my Christian brethren and sisters, and gird yourselves for duty in the fear of God, so arranging this matter that it shall not be dry and uninteresting, but full of innocent enjoyment that shall bear the signet of Heaven? I know the poorer class will respond to these suggestions. The most wealthy should also show an interest and bestow their gifts and offerings proportionate to the means with which God has entrusted them. Let there be recorded in the heavenly books such a Christmas as has never yet been seen because of the donations which shall be given for the sustaining of the work of God and the upbuilding of His kingdom. {AH 483.1}

 

 

January 5, 1882 A Happy New Year

 

By Mrs. E. G. White.

 

 

Another year of life is now in the past. A new year is opening before us. What will be its record? What will we each inscribe upon its spotless pages? The manner in which we spend each passing day will decide this question. Fathers and mothers, while you wish your children a Happy New Year, will you strive in the fear of God to make it a happy year? Will you seek to lead your dear ones to the true source of peace and joy? Will you consecrate your own hearts to God, that you may exert a sanctifying influence upon your children? Will you separate them from sin and sinners, and by living faith connect them with God? {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 1}

 

It should be the work of every parent to cultivate all that is good, and true, and noble, in his children. It is his duty to correct their faults, to restrain their waywardness, even as the Lord required Eli to restrain his sons. Fathers and mothers, make the word of God your guide in the education of your children, ever considering what will be for their future good, rather than what is for your present convenience. The mother may bestow upon her daughters an education that will be invaluable, by training them to bear their share of the family burdens. The father may give his sons a capital of more worth than gold or lands, by teaching them to love useful employment, instead of seeking happiness in idle amusements or dissipation. Parents, now is the time to form in your children habits of industry, self-reliance, and self-control; to cultivate economy and business tact. Now is the time to teach them courtesy and benevolence toward their fellow-men, and reverence and love for God. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 2}

 

You may make a happy new year for your children, if you faithfully discharge your duty. Home should be the most sunny and attractive spot on earth; and it may be made such by pleasant words and kind acts, and, underlying all, a steadfast adherence to the right. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 3}

 

By their neglect to exercise proper restraint, many parents are creating great unhappiness for their children. The youth who are left to constantly seek for pleasure in amusement or selfish gratification are not happy, and never can be happy while following this course. Fathers and mothers, teach your children that the only way to be truly happy is to love and fear God; and enforce the lesson by your example. Let them see that the peace of Christ is ruling in your heart, and that his love pervades your life. Practical religion is the need of the present hour. You cannot teach this to your children unless you possess it yourselves. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 4}

 

Let us enter upon the new year with our hearts cleansed from the defilement of selfishness and pride. Let us put away every sinful indulgence, and seek to become faithful, diligent learners in the school of Christ. A new year opens its unsullied pages before us. What shall we write upon them. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 5}

 

Children, you greet your father and mother with a "Happy New Year," but will you make it a happy year to them? It is in your power to do this. Your conduct, more than everything besides, will make a happy or an unhappy year for your parents. You may cause their hearts to throb with joy or pain. Whatever dishonors your Saviour, whatever causes a stain upon your character, brings anxiety and distress to the heart of godly parents. You cannot give them a happy new year if you live only for self-gratification. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 6}

 

Seek to begin this year with right purposes and pure motives, as beings who are accountable to God. Ever bear in mind that your acts are daily passing into history by the pen of the recording angel. You must meet them again when the Judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 7}

 

How often your lips utter the kindly greeting, "I wish you a happy new year," and then in a few moments speak impatient, fretful words. How many children are ever ready to dispute about trifles, unwilling to make the smallest sacrifice for others. To such the new year will bring no real happiness. They may indulge in boisterous mirth, but their hearts know no peace nor joy. Will you not come with penitence and humility to Jesus, that he may cleanse you from the impurity of sin, and fit you for his heavenly kingdom? All who do this will have the happiest new year that they ever experienced. It will bring joy in Heaven and joy on earth. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 8}

 

Many have been seeking some rare gift to bestow upon their friends. Will you not, children, bring to Jesus the gift which he prizes above all others--the gift of your heart? While others at the holiday season adorn themselves to please the eye of their friends, will you not seek the adorning which Heaven values--the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit? If we bring to God the first gift, the value of every other is enhanced; for love makes it not merely a passing compliment, but a precious offering. From the softened heart in which the peace of Christ abides, will flow forth sincere wishes, kindly words and deeds, and worthy, appropriate offerings. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 9}

 

Many are the gifts and greetings that have been exchanged on New Year's day, by parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and acquaintances. When it is over, many feel a sense of relief. They have discharged their duty in bestowing presents, and smiles, and compliments for the occasion, and there the matter is supposed to end. The next day, and the next, and onward to the end of the year, bring fretful, passionate words, faultfinding, recrimination, and careless neglect of the dear ones of the household. Oh, such a new year is one that angels will be grieved and ashamed to register. It is anything but happy. Friends and relatives bestow a gift of sorrow, a burden of unkindness, that crushes out hope, and makes the grave look desirable. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 10}

 

Do we truly wish our loved ones a happy new year? Then let us make it such to them by kindness, by sympathy, by cheerfulness, by unselfish devotion. If we connect with God, the source of peace, and light, and truth, his Spirit will flow through us as a channel, to refresh and bless all around us. This may be the last year of life to us. Shall we not enter upon it with thoughtful consideration? Shall not sincerity, respect, benevolence, mark our deportment toward all? {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 11}

 

Let us withhold nothing from Him who gave his precious life for us. Fathers and mothers, bring to him your children, in the freshness and bloom of youth, and devote them to his service. Let us all consecrate to God the property he has intrusted to us. Above all, let us give him ourselves, a free-will offering. Let us do his will, live for his glory, and he will give us a Happy New Year.

{ST, January 5, 1882 par. 12}January 5, 1882 A Happy New Year

-

By Mrs. E. G. White.

-

 

Another year of life is now in the past. A new year is opening before us. What will be its record? What will we each inscribe upon its spotless pages? The manner in which we spend each passing day will decide this question. Fathers and mothers, while you wish your children a Happy New Year, will you strive in the fear of God to make it a happy year? Will you seek to lead your dear ones to the true source of peace and joy? Will you consecrate your own hearts to God, that you may exert a sanctifying influence upon your children? Will you separate them from sin and sinners, and by living faith connect them with God? {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 1}

 

It should be the work of every parent to cultivate all that is good, and true, and noble, in his children. It is his duty to correct their faults, to restrain their waywardness, even as the Lord required Eli to restrain his sons. Fathers and mothers, make the word of God your guide in the education of your children, ever considering what will be for their future good, rather than what is for your present convenience. The mother may bestow upon her daughters an education that will be invaluable, by training them to bear their share of the family burdens. The father may give his sons a capital of more worth than gold or lands, by teaching them to love useful employment, instead of seeking happiness in idle amusements or dissipation. Parents, now is the time to form in your children habits of industry, self-reliance, and self-control; to cultivate economy and business tact. Now is the time to teach them courtesy and benevolence toward their fellow-men, and reverence and love for God. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 2}

 

You may make a happy new year for your children, if you faithfully discharge your duty. Home should be the most sunny and attractive spot on earth; and it may be made such by pleasant words and kind acts, and, underlying all, a steadfast adherence to the right. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 3}

 

By their neglect to exercise proper restraint, many parents are creating great unhappiness for their children. The youth who are left to constantly seek for pleasure in amusement or selfish gratification are not happy, and never can be happy while following this course. Fathers and mothers, teach your children that the only way to be truly happy is to love and fear God; and enforce the lesson by your example. Let them see that the peace of Christ is ruling in your heart, and that his love pervades your life. Practical religion is the need of the present hour. You cannot teach this to your children unless you possess it yourselves. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 4}

 

Let us enter upon the new year with our hearts cleansed from the defilement of selfishness and pride. Let us put away every sinful indulgence, and seek to become faithful, diligent learners in the school of Christ. A new year opens its unsullied pages before us. What shall we write upon them. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 5}

 

Children, you greet your father and mother with a "Happy New Year," but will you make it a happy year to them? It is in your power to do this. Your conduct, more than everything besides, will make a happy or an unhappy year for your parents. You may cause their hearts to throb with joy or pain. Whatever dishonors your Saviour, whatever causes a stain upon your character, brings anxiety and distress to the heart of godly parents. You cannot give them a happy new year if you live only for self-gratification. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 6}

 

Seek to begin this year with right purposes and pure motives, as beings who are accountable to God. Ever bear in mind that your acts are daily passing into history by the pen of the recording angel. You must meet them again when the Judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 7}

 

How often your lips utter the kindly greeting, "I wish you a happy new year," and then in a few moments speak impatient, fretful words. How many children are ever ready to dispute about trifles, unwilling to make the smallest sacrifice for others. To such the new year will bring no real happiness. They may indulge in boisterous mirth, but their hearts know no peace nor joy. Will you not come with penitence and humility to Jesus, that he may cleanse you from the impurity of sin, and fit you for his heavenly kingdom? All who do this will have the happiest new year that they ever experienced. It will bring joy in Heaven and joy on earth. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 8}

 

Many have been seeking some rare gift to bestow upon their friends. Will you not, children, bring to Jesus the gift which he prizes above all others--the gift of your heart? While others at the holiday season adorn themselves to please the eye of their friends, will you not seek the adorning which Heaven values--the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit? If we bring to God the first gift, the value of every other is enhanced; for love makes it not merely a passing compliment, but a precious offering. From the softened heart in which the peace of Christ abides, will flow forth sincere wishes, kindly words and deeds, and worthy, appropriate offerings. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 9}

 

Many are the gifts and greetings that have been exchanged on New Year's day, by parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and acquaintances. When it is over, many feel a sense of relief. They have discharged their duty in bestowing presents, and smiles, and compliments for the occasion, and there the matter is supposed to end. The next day, and the next, and onward to the end of the year, bring fretful, passionate words, faultfinding, recrimination, and careless neglect of the dear ones of the household. Oh, such a new year is one that angels will be grieved and ashamed to register. It is anything but happy. Friends and relatives bestow a gift of sorrow, a burden of unkindness, that crushes out hope, and makes the grave look desirable. {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 10}

 

Do we truly wish our loved ones a happy new year? Then let us make it such to them by kindness, by sympathy, by cheerfulness, by unselfish devotion. If we connect with God, the source of peace, and light, and truth, his Spirit will flow through us as a channel, to refresh and bless all around us. This may be the last year of life to us. Shall we not enter upon it with thoughtful consideration? Shall not sincerity, respect, benevolence, mark our deportment toward all? {ST, January 5, 1882 par. 11}

 

Let us withhold nothing from Him who gave his precious life for us. Fathers and mothers, bring to him your children, in the freshness and bloom of youth, and devote them to his service. Let us all consecrate to God the property he has intrusted to us. Above all, let us give him ourselves, a free-will offering. Let us do his will, live for his glory, and he will give us a Happy New Year.

{ST, January 5, 1882 par. 12}