8 Ministry Tips for the Post-Christmas Festive Period
As much as we love it, Christmas is an exhausting time of year. It can feel like there is no time to breathe, with ample activities to plan, presents to buy, and people to see. With so much going on, it is difficult to think of what to do in that limbo week between Christmas and New Year. But without the proper planning, this week might just disappear.
Make the most of this sacred time of year with this list of things for churches to do between Christmas and New Year (and ways to stay grounded as a church leader). Finding time for yourself often feels impossible, but planning and putting yourself first is essential so you can show up for your people each day with enthusiasm and patience.
If you are wondering what to do between Christmas and New Year, keep reading for eight tips to help you make the most of the entire Christmas period.
Develop a Church Tradition
Boxing Day can be a low-energy day as the Christmas dust settles and people don’t know what to do with themselves. Why not create a new Christmas tradition for this often-forgotten day, like watching a Boxing Day movie at church or going for a walk outside in nature? A simple activity like this only takes a few hours but offers your congregation the chance to get out of the house and bond with other church members. Don’t forget that Christmas is a lonely period for some.
Write Thank-You Cards
What better time to write your thank you cards than immediately after Christmas? Encourage gratitude in your church by hosting a thank-you card-making session for the children to get creative while giving back. Offering a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are in the calm after Christmas Day will support mindfulness and gratitude. And parents will love this extracurricular activity that will leave them with extra time for themselves.
Set New Year's Resolutions
Think ahead to the coming year and consider what goals you’d like to achieve on both a personal and church-wide level. Spend some time pondering your hopes and dreams, and write them down to manifest the future you desire that aligns with your higher purpose. Whether you prefer to call them annual goals or New Year resolutions, thinking self-reflectively is a must for kids and adults alike.
Say “No” When Needed
It is easy to get swept up in the Christmas spirit and find yourself saying “yes” to everything. But this can lead to stress and burnout, especially for ministry leaders who lead busy lives and often sacrifice free time for the church. Saying “no” to non-essential invitations that will infringe on your personal well-being will leave you with far more space to enjoy the little things over this busy holiday period. Make time for God by taking a moment to reflect and ponder all He has given us.
Don’t Over Schedule
Similarly, when planning events ahead of time, we often imagine that we can squeeze five meetups into one day to make the most of Christmas. In reality, carving out some space to relax and unwind is just as crucial. Prioritize self-care by dedicating at least one day or evening to yourself in the week between Christmas and New Year to sit back and decompress.
Dedicate Time to Family
For some people, this is obvious, as family time often takes over the festive period. But church leaders may let family time slip out of priority as they take on endless responsibilities for their ministry. While it is possible to include your children in church plans, setting aside some sacred time for your family is a must. Unplug from your ministry work and enjoy quality time with the people who matter most — your flesh and blood.
Plan Fun Activities
Include several fun activities for the post-Christmas period when brainstorming your church Christmas program ideas. It may be tempting to squeeze everything into the build-up to Christmas Day, but don’t forget the sanctity of the days following the birth of Jesus Christ. The week between Christmas and new year deserves as much attention as the week before, reminding your ministry that generosity and kind heartedness don’t stop on December 25th.
Keep On Celebrating
Don’t ditch the Christmas tree and festive decorations. Instead, why not keep the holiday cheer in full swing with celebratory decor until the Twelfth Night that falls on January 6th? As highlighted by Homes and Gardens, this day signifies the Feast of Epiphany, Jesus’s christening, and the visit of the Magi to Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. December 25th may be the most important day, but don’t forget the significance of the Three King’s Day.
Planning each day is the best way to ensure you have ticked every box. As a church leader, factor self-care time into the ministry plans by ensuring everyone has dedicated time off to unwind and recharge. Everyone loves fun Christmas activities, so keep the festive spirit alive in the week between Christmas and New Year with movies, outdoor activities, and thank-you card-writing sessions.
Having each event scheduled empowers you to say no to the additional commitments that may leave you feeling exhausted and run down. Choose what is important to you so you can show up as your best self for the events that truly matter.