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Forget ‘mistletoe and wine’ – we should rename Christmas the season of ‘sellotape & scissors’. If you’re anything like me you’ll spend a few brief moments wrapping gifts in between hours & hours locating the end of the sellotape.

And does anyone apart from Granny actually like Brussels sprouts? Finding them on your plate on Christmas day is like doing a bush tucker trial!

There’s a high probability that your turkey this year will taste of hand sanitiser and your cracker will most likely contain a face mask.

Will two years of Church covid craziness simply be replaced with two weeks of Christmas holiday craziness this year?

Leaders don’t wants to ruin their Christmas break (or have to schedule another 2 weeks off in January just to recover from their Christmas break) but they so often do.

Here are two surefire ways to ruin your Christmas…

1. Spend your days-off doing stuff that drains you

Before you realise it, you’ve travelled half the country to visit family, played host to the world for some Christmas parties and suddenly it’s time to get back to the office again.

A wise leaders knows what fills their emotional tank and creates the opportunity for a holiday fill up.

“A wise leaders knows what fills their emotional tank and creates the opportunity for a holiday fill up.”

Do you actually know what fills your emotional tank? It may well be hosting family and friends, but for others it may be long dog walks, some old movies, a good book with a mulled wine by an open fire…

Identify it, tell others about it and schedule some time to do it this Christmas.

2. Spend your down time glued to your phone

“But my phone tells me the weather and the football scores. I get my news from my phone as well as the cooking instructions for the turkey. Don’t tell me to put it in a drawer for two weeks!”

Okay, I won’t.

But your phone is also where you get your work email, your voicemail, your WhatsApp & social media notifications. Its tempting for leaders to ‘just have a quick peek…’

So why not consider using ‘do not disturb’ or turning notifications to ‘off’ for two weeks? Give permission – in fact encourage your team to do the same too. That way they’re not trying to get in touch with you, and they can benefit from getting unplugged as well.

Why not make a plan to reduce your screen time this Christmas, to look up and focus on something new that might just stop you running on empty?

One last thing…

Don’t take your theology from a bumper sticker that boldly claims ‘Jesus is the reason for the season.’

Because he’s not. Your broken and disappointed heart is the reason for the season.

For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! (Isaiah 9: 6 MSG)

YOU are the reason for the season.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will find the one who is bigger than the universe but who became as small as an embryo, to be mightier than your present struggle.

May you have the courage to stop the scroll long enough to find those things that fill up your emotional tanks. May you lean into Emmanuel – the God who is with you in your pain. And may you learn the secret of reaching your new year goal without losing your soul.

Happy Christmas


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