"OH dear" said Hortense Collins, “Thanksgiving and Christmas are over and here it is New Years; good bye to all the fun and nice times for a long while to come.  I wish it could be Christmas the year round; don't you, Nellie!"

"No, cousin, ...I don't believe I can say yes to that. The fact is, there is so much excitement about it that one hardly has time for proper thought or reading.

Indeed, I nearly always feel, after it is over, that I have lost something, somehow, I cannot tell how."

"Lost? I am sure we always gain. Only think how many presents we got this year, and in

some cases we have even several of the same kind." 

Yes; but I don't mean in that way, cousin. 

To speak plainly, I always seem to lose in my Christian life. I know the fault is mine, and it should not be so; but that does not change the fact." 

"How soberly you talk, Nellie, just as if one couldn't be a Christian as well at Christmas as at any time—a queer theory, I think." 

"That is so, cousin, while we are professing to celebrate our Saviour's birth, to think of him and love him less. I have been trying this year to study into it, so as to see if I cannot have it different another time.  I have been weighing it ever since Christmas—for a whole week—now shall I give you the conclusions I have arrived at?

"Certainly," said Hortense, for to speak the truth fully, as you have to me, I must admit that my in interest in the prayer-meetings and even my Sabbath school lessons is less, and I find myself hurrying through my prayers as I have never before done since I felt that Jesus accepted me as his child; and I believe that to be one reason why I feel so discontented that the festivities of the last few weeks are over, and have such a thirsting for more of the excitement that came with them." 

"Well, I will tell you, Hortie, what I believe is the secret of the thing. I think we are too selfish in our holiday amusements; we think too much of what we shall receive and too little of what we may do to make others happy. Then we read too little, pray too little, and spend too much time on our poor, little selfish selves; what say you to that?" 

"I say that I believe you are more than half right, Nellie." 

"It does look reasonable," replied Hortense, "that the proper and true way to celebrate the birthday of our Lord is to do good to others, forgetting self; then I believe we shall more truly appreciate the good things that He, through our kind friends, gives to us." 

"But after all," said Nellie, "what good will it do us to learn our mistakes and see where we have failed, if we do not try to rectify them?  Christmas will not come again for nearly a year, and I fear our good purposes wilt be forgotten by that time." 

 "'The poor ye have always with you," said Hortense "and when we will, we may do them good. 

This is the first day of the New Year, let us begin it aright. In the first place I rushed through my morning devotions, and I am going back to my room, go with me, cousin; let us begin together again, as we did when we first took Jesus for our friend.”

An hour later they returned with smiling faces, prepared to carry some of their outgrown garments to a poor girl who was sadly in need of them. 

Then they gathered from their Christmas gifts several articles of which they had duplicates, and sent them to some schoolmates who had received nothing of any account for Christmas, because of the poverty of their homes. 

After this, they carried a basket of provisions to the lonely cottage of a poor woman who lived by herself, but who suffered so from rheumatism that she was often unable to rise from her bed. There Hortense and Nellie passed the afternoon, sweeping, dusting, mending, and reading to her. 

Some of you may think that this was very dull and uninteresting work, but, as they returned home, they were both heard to say, in almost the same breath, "What a nice day this has been;" and Hortense added, "This would indeed verify the wishes of our friends by being 'a happy new year,' if every day of it should be as happy as this."

"That is so," said Nellie, " and why shouldn't they be, if we begin them by asking our Heavenly Father to help us make them so by doing good to others?" 

"I think they may; after all, I believe those are the happiest who make others happy, instead of those who try the hardest to be happy themselves." 

Would that everybody might learn this golden rule of happiness!

Little Star. 

HE who thinks too much of himself 

will be in danger of being forgotten by the world.