If truth be told, many of us besides Elvis want to sing “Blue Christmas” during the holidays. The season is “supposed to be” festive and fun as family and friends gather for (too much) food and (too many) gifts. The reality is different.

Many of us struggle in this season. This year we’re also dealing with the aftermath of Harvey flooding. So this year is likely to be more stressful for most of us, whether or not we flooded. Here are a few tips on coping during this season:

  • Be gentle with yourself. Be aware of your feelings. If you are sad or grieving, that’s normal. You don’t have to be happy just because it’s the holidays.
  • Forget perfection. The holidays don’t have to be like a Norman Rockwell painting. Families often don’t fit stereotypes.
  • Reach out to others. If you feel lonely, contact friends. If you are having a particularly difficult time and are persistently sad, anxious, or have trouble meeting the daily demands of your life, seek professional help. Please know that Becky and I are ready to listen and reflect with you, as is our Lay Pastoral Ministry Team.
  • Say no. If you’re overwhelmed, give yourself some time and space. You don’t have to make all the parties.
  • Take care of yourself. Don’t overindulge in food or drink. Get a reasonable amount of exercise. Get plenty of sleep.
  • Use (or start) a spiritual practice. This is a good season to set aside time for quiet, meditation, prayer, reflective reading, mindful walking, or just sitting in silence. Take a good, long, deep breath. If you’d like to chat about spiritual practices, let me know.

In the Good News of our Free Faith,


Rev. Samuel Schaal, Transitional Assistant Minister