What can I do to enjoy the Christmas season when my life seems so busy at that time of year?

Christmas brings back fond memories and excited anticipation to most people. However, it is not always accompanied by warm feelings or excitement to the families of those in ministry. Pastoral families may be too many miles from other relatives to celebrate Christmas together.

The isolation of pastoral families can soon become loneliness. Perhaps using the following ideas to combat holiday blues will work for you.

  • Planning: By planning ahead for the event, the family can begin to anticipate rather than dread the holiday. Planning does not need to be elaborate to be something the family can anticipate with excitement. But the plans can be a source of discussion and increased participation in the season.
  • Activity: Attend something that you have no responsibility for planning. It can be a major relief to be a part of something that places no expectations on your family. Time together in an activity can be something that develops family strength. It can even be something that involves service to others. Be sure you allow time to interact as a family following the event.
  • Service: A great way to avoid self-pity during the holiday season is to focus on the needs of someone else. Serving others can be a great stimulant for bringing meaning and memories to the holiday season. You may want to adopt someone else for Christmas.

It is important that you not become the victim of holiday blues. At a time when we as pastors are given the responsibility of declaring the good news of that first Christmas, it is critical that we do not set ourselves up for holiday depression. Careful and strategic planning can make the Christmas season memorable. Plan carefully and celebrate well.

May the joy and peace promised at that first Christmas be yours!