Q: Why does Amazing Discoveries recognize Christmas by wishing a happy holiday to our friends and donors and closing our office on Christmas Day?
A: We understand that Christmas was started as a pagan holiday, however it is also a world-wide acknowledgement of the birth of Jesus. It is a day where the world is open to hear about Him and think about Him. We are instructed in the writings of EGW that we would do well to use this day as a way to reach people.
“Although we do not know the exact day of Christ’s birth, we would honor the sacred event. May the Lord forbid that any one should be so narrow minded as to overlook the event because there is an uncertainty in regard to the exact time. Let us do what we can to fasten the minds of the children upon those things which are precious to everyone who loves Jesus. Let us teach them how to Jesus came into the world to bring hope, comfort, peace, and happiness to all… Let the hearts of all respond with exceeding joy for the priceless gift of the Son of God.” –The Review and Herald, Dec 17, 1889.
Ellen White gives more recommendations about how to celebrate the season of Christmas in Adventist Home Chapter 77. Here are a few more highlights:
"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 we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer.... 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 478
"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. 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
Just because we recognize Christmas as a holiday useful for turning people’s minds to Christ does not mean that we compromise our convictions as Seventh-day Adventists. Our purpose in acknowledging the day is to bless others and direct them to Christ our Saviour. This does not give license to uphold pagan principles that exclude Christ and focus on the worldliness of Christmas and Santa – with Santa as a gift giver.
We desire Christ to be uplifted. “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17
May our characters be like Christ and let us meet people where they are as He did – not by coming down into the world but by lifting them up.
As for why our office is closed, Christmas is a statutory holiday and it is mandatory to give your staff a day off. In commemoration of the birth of Christ we are happy to do that.