would have a Christmas tree on which shall be hung offerings, great and small, for these houses of worship.
“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.
“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.”—The Review and Herald, December 11, 1879.
Ellen White in her counsels about Christmas observance recognized that there was no Bible support for the celebration of the day, but she was practical enough to see that Christmas could not be passed by unnoticed by parents. The children would not understand. The wise procedure would be to direct the minds and hearts of the little ones to Christ, whose “birthday” was being celebrated. So she counseled them to bring their gifts to Jesus as the Wise Men did.
Her teaching was positive. The counsels were practical and dealt with the everyday issues the church must meet in its pilgrimage through this world.
“Let us represent the Christian life as it really it; let us make the way cheerful, inviting, interesting. We can do this if we will. We may fill our own minds with vivid pictures of spiritual and eternal things, and in so doing help to make them a reality to other minds.”—Ibid., January 29, 1884.