What a fun time of year for making social appearances at things like tree lightings, parties and concerts. It’s a good season for adding a bit of sparkle or whimsy to your image, especially if you’re dressed in an all-black uniform of fairly severe garments most of the time.
This is not to say that you should go out dressed like a Christmas tree or in one of those frumpy holiday sweaters. Oh, no. PeaceBang would not suggest such a thing. But she would suggest that you have some fun with your outerwear so that you have a choice between “I’m here to lay our Dearly Beloved in the ground with the appropriate prayers” and “I’m here to hang candy canes on the tree.”
This is where very inexpensive outerwear can really serve you. I have been enjoying a cotton trench coat I bought for about $30 on sale at Old Navy a few years ago. Add a faux fur wrap from Chico’s, an adorable felted hat that was a gift from a parishioner (which I adorned with a felt pin I purchased on Etsy several years ago) and a great pair of bronze leather gloves (an ancient NYC purchase – I’ve had them for almost a decade) and voila! A cute, warm ensemble that makes me happy and looks a little more seasonally sassy than my usual brown or black. If I was going to a dressy occasion I would still wear the faux fur (that thing is SO WARM) and my brown wool coat and a less eccentric chapeau.
This guy is apparently a soccer star but I love his infinity scarf. See, fellas, you can wear them, too! I love the way a cozy scarf can make anyone look really warm and approachable.
It is a pastorally-demanding time of year. The stresses of holiday expectations weigh heavily on many, and family gatherings bring up old wounds and/or performance anxiety for many in our care. I don’t know about you, but I find myself standing in the cold an awful lot, holding a hand and listening in a parking lot or on the street. Dress warmly. Wear a hat. And carry tissues. Make sure you’ve got your business cards packed into all your bags and a good stack on your desk in the office. Put on your pointiest elf listening ears. This is a season for the re-telling of sacred stories and pastors inevitably find that we get to hear many people’s personal sacred stories. Hang in there, elves. Make sure that as you’re gearing up for making Christmas merry, bright and meaningful you’re making time to make your own. I put up a Christmas tree last weekend and I’m just so glad I did. It gives me joy and strength just seeing it there.