Eleven Tips for Church Leaders for Advent/Christmas

1. Read something spiritual daily. Find a devotional book, daily lectionary or read a passage of Scripture at a time in your day when you are most alert.

2. Find at least five minutes of silence every day. Sit in your bedroom, your office or the church worship space. If all else fails, turn off the music in your car for five minutes.

3. Give away some extra money: to the church Christmas offering, to the food pantry in your community, to the Salvation Army bell ringer. Cultivate generosity in yourself.

4. Buy yourself a small gift. You need some extra support this month.

5. Move at least a little every day. Your brain needs exercise as well as your body, and you need to keep your wits about you this month.

6. Listen to your favorite Christmas music, sacred or secular.

7. Breathe. Then think about what you need to do next (not the hundred things you still have to do).

8. Remember that you have enough time to do everything God really wants you to do.

9. Ignore the news, mostly. It will still be there in January.

10. Spend at least five minutes every day truly listening to the members of your family, if you have one. Try not to wait until after Christmas to do this.

11. Celebrate. Christmas really is worth it. Make a list of what you are celebrating this year.

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