It seems 'the season' is upon us (as the jaunty Christmas carols at the supermarket told me this week)! Amongst the plans being made, gifts being bought, and lights being untangled, clergy and their families often see the harder side of Christmas as well. I remember talking to a psychiatrist a few years ago who told me 'Christmas keeps us in business (and also means we need a holiday in the following month!).' It can be a bittersweet time for many, and clergy families see that hurt and loneliness and choose to make a huge difference to the lives of these individuals by listening, comforting, and caring for them by providing meals or gifts. Thank you for doing all these things, it means so much to those you do it for.
We were reading about an Australian PK who enjoyed growing up in a clergy household. When she was asked if there was anything she would change, she replied: "I did kind of wish we could have simply had just 'family time' on Christmas Day."
She isn't alone; other PKs we've heard from or read about have also mentioned similar things about important occasions and their desire to spend them with those they love. Making a time special, and just for family can help them feel involved, and know it's ok to have family time to celebrate that's separate to ministry time.
Maybe you already have ways you celebrate as a family - that's great! If you're finding the balance of work and personal life a bit tricky this season, here are 8 ways that we've put together that you might enjoy - or add to!
- Celebrate together on Boxing Day (make the most of the public holiday and the cheaper food for a huge feast!)
- Have a family feast the week before Christmas.
- Try getting up a bit earlier to open presents together before church.
- Come up with your own family tradition, like seeing the local light displays together on Christmas Eve (with ice cream or neon lights!).
- Share a movie and meal together at the end of the long Christmas day.
- Go caroling together at a friend or family's house.
- As a couple, share an adult Christmas drink after the kids have gone to bed to unwind!
- Take a Christmas lunch off every few years to share just with your immediate family then have others around for afternoon tea.
How will you be celebrating?! :)
~ Rachel & Matt