by | Dec 22, 2022 | Christmas, Family, Leadership, Margin, Ministry Leader, Pastor

Today we welcome Jaime Hlavin back to the blog for Part 2 of her Holiday miniseries, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. In today’s post, Jaime pivots to the personal side of the Holidays, and outlines a few healthy boundaries that will help you get more joy out of the season. Enjoy ~ John.

During this Advent season, when we should be focusing on the hope, peace, love, and joy of the anticipation of the Birth of Christ, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns as leaders.

Last week we talked about the pitfalls that can ensnare church and ministry leaders during the Christmas season. The amount of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy that can go into planning church services and events during the Holidays can be daunting.

Our goal in this post is to help you as a church or ministry leader create a healthy Holiday rhythm that will keep you in touch with the reason we focus so much time and energy into this time of year. In order to focus on the hope, peace, love, and joy of this Advent of celebration of Christ’s birth, it’s crucial to establish relational boundaries as leaders to maintain an emotionally healthy Holiday Season.

Here are a few suggestions I hope you find helpful:

Take care to prioritize meaningful family gatherings and events

The hustle and bustle of the season can easily overpower any family traditions and special times. Be sure to set these in stone. Also, allow yourself the luxury of saying “no” to the extras (you don’t have to bring cookies to the school concert, send Christmas cards to everyone or buy gifts for every service provider or teacher. If a “tradition” or event leaves you exhausted or financially strapped, it’s okay to forgo it.)

Be wary of committing to toxic gatherings. Some events are just emotionally unhealthy. You know beforehand that spending a great deal of time in these settings is not good for you. Limit or eliminate these altogether. If you absolutely cannot refuse attendance, establish ahead of time what are off-limits conversations and interactions. Give yourself a set-in-stone arrival and departure time for said events.

Your church family may have expectations of you. Navigate these with care

If visiting homes and attending events not related to your own family or immediate circle of friends adds too much tension to your calendar and emotions, do not commit to attend. You can’t be all things to all people.

Enjoyable stuff comes up so give yourself margin to add it to your calendar

A spouse’s work party. Holiday concert with friends. A tree lighting ceremony. These are all delightful additions to the Holiday season. Be sure you have space in your December to enjoy them.

Grief and difficult emotions are magnified during the holidays

Unfortunately, the Holidays tend to illuminate the fact that someone is missing, or a relationship is strained. This can be very painful. Don’t try to squelch or compartmentalize these emotions. Feel them when you need to and talk about it with a spouse, trusted friend, or family member.

As a leader the Christmas season is full enough with the “business” side of running a church or ministry. We can’t ignore that our personal lives are part of this time of year as well. Please do your best to stay personally healthy during the Holidays.

All of us here at Converge Coaching wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!