Bless you for all the hard work you’ve put into making Advent a season of anticipation and Christmas a time of hope. Here’s what I would give you for Christmas, if I only could:
Rest. Deep, rejuvenating rest.
Opportunity to worship. If you lead Christmas Eve services, which can leave you with barely a moment to peek at baby Jesus in the manger, I hope you can carve out time elsewhere.
The feeling of being appreciated. May someone – or many someones – acknowledge that Advent and Christmas for ministers are like tax season for CPAs, and may they sincerely thank you for your efforts.
Time with loved ones, whether that means biological family, spouse, friends, church members who have invited you to join their celebration, or your beloved furry companion.
Understanding from your family. No, you can’t take off Christmas Eve. May your family absolve you of any guilt for doing your job.
Space to feel the feels. Christmas is a time of hope born into darkness, but the illumination is slow and ongoing.
Simplicity. No piles of presents that will be shoved into closets to be dealt with later, no frantic hurrying from one Christmas meal location to the next.
Patience with yourself and with others. Time with extended family can bring out our best selves…or our worst.
Deliciousness. Enjoy that Christmas ham or beef tenderloin to the last leftover!
Peace. That is what the angels announced to shepherds. May we be continue to be expectant recipients – and agents – of that peace.
Excitement about the year to come. May you welcome 2016 with hopeful anticipation.
Image courtesy of Hermano Leon Clip Art.