THE DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS
There is a real issue of post-Christmas blues that can set in for church staff as well as members. It is not unusual for the first Sunday after celebrating the greatest gift that God has ever given humanity for there to be a very low attendance at the worship of God. For pastors who have expended immense amounts of energy both in coordinating a multitude of activities but also in conducting multiple worship services, there is bound to be the feeling of exhaustion. That can be exacerbated if there were some things that didn’t go so well during the advent/Christmas season. I remember having put a lot of effort into creating a Christmas drama using multiple verses of Christmas carols sung by the amateur actors of the church for a Christmas Eve event. Not many days after that one of the leading members came to my office and told me how horrible it was. I already knew that for several reasons it had not gone well, but his blunt assessment was like being hit while I was already down.
IT’S OK TO FEEL BLUE
All of this leads to the suggestion that you need to be ready for a feeling of let down following Christmas. For pastors, it is made even worse when Easter is early and you immediately need to be preparing for Lenten activities. It is important that you give yourself permission to feel blue and find a spiritual director or another clergy friend who would understand with whom you can process your feelings. You are not a bad pastor because you feel depressed or even angry following having exhausted yourself serving your people, some of whom are not even appreciative.
It would be best to find someone with whom you can talk, but a second strategy that could also be helpful would be to give yourself permission to spend an hour honestly writing about how you are feeling. If you did that on a computer and saved it in a very private location, it would probably benefit you to recognize how your feelings repeat themselves in various forms year after year.