I didn’t always enjoy the Christmas season as a pastor. I loved telling the story of the Christ child, but my introversion made me uncomfortable with numerous parties, and my waistline made me anxious about far-too-many holiday meals. To be honest, I was often glad when the season came to an end.
Since then, I’ve learned better how to celebrate in the midst of the busyness. Maybe these ideas will help you, too.
- Prioritize daily time alone for the Word and prayer. It’s hard enough to find this time during the less busy times of the year. During the next two weeks, I challenge you to prioritize your alone time with God. Even fifteen minutes of Bible study and prayer each day can help keep you in balance.
- Give to people who have little to give back – and don’t broadcast that you do it. Take a family member or a friend in Christ, and go minister to people in a nursing home, a prison, a hospital, an orphanage, etc. Give just because you love the people that God loves. If that seems too insignificant for you and your ministry, perhaps you need to read the story of Bethlehem again.
- Visit another church’s Christmas celebration. If you’re a pastor or a layperson who’s already heavily involved in your church’s celebration, set aside time to worship with another congregation. Step out of your leadership role, and let somebody else feed you. Your soul might need that ministry more than you know.
- Take your spouse on a surprise date, and revive Christmas memories from the past. Just taking the time to be alone with your spouse can help you refocus from the busyness. I love, for example, thinking about those first Christmases that Pam and I shared in our home when we first married. God’s been incredibly good to us over the years.
- Take a day of retreat. I know that’s hard to do in this season, but one day alone with the Lord, reading His Word, listening to His Spirit, speaking your heart to Him, and simply meditating on His goodness can fill you with wonder over the Christmas event.
- Say “No thanks” once in a while. You really aren’t required to attend every event during the holidays. You’ll need to choose wisely based on your context and church tradition, but folks will forgive you if you take a break and spend that time with God.
What would you add to this list?