In an article for Baptist Press, Michael Lewis offers several suggestions to help you “have a more fruitful and rejuvenating holiday season.” Among his ideas:

• Give yourself permission not to attend every event. Church members love to invite pastors (and their families) to their holiday gatherings—from Sunday School Christmas parties to family get-togethers to community celebrations. Many of these invitations will come at the last minute. You don’t have to accept them all. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable—and honest—to say you have other plans when you simply need to spend some time with your family.

• Stay home if you sense your family is stressed. Your family doesn’t have to attend every event. Stay sensitive to your family’s stress level. When you can’t make an event, contact the organizers as early as possible so they can communicate it to the others in attendance.

• Make your presence felt at musicals and special services. Most churches have special events during the holiday season where larger-than-usual crowds will be expected. Take the time during those events to connect with as many people as possible. Shake hands, hug necks and write down prayer requests. Show your community you care during those times.” (Click here to read the full article.)

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