1. Honesty. They can't all be great sermons. No one bats 1,000. I can't think of one occupation where a person always does a great job. Perhaps this holiday season, while leaving the building, you might say, "Not as good as last week's pastor." Or a kind, "You've had better," would be fitting. I can't speak for all preachers, but in a way, such a comment would be a breath of fresh air.2. Sincerity. Don't be all, "Jesus is the reason for the season," and then go into debt buying plastic Chinese crap for the kids. Jesus doesn't like debt. I know because I've read the book. Similarly, don't be all, "It's not X-mas, it's Christmas," and then miss church on Christmas morning to play with the electronics made by slave-wage Indonesians. I mean, if you're going to spout a platitude, then pitch your tent on the plateau.
3. A tithe. A tithe for Christmas is always welcome. See, what with all the extra expenses and gift-giving, the December and January offerings are always down. And yet, the expenses for the church remain the same. In December and January, churches use the same amount of water, electricity, natural gas, and (in some climates) have snow-removal costs. Technically, this isn't a gift for the pastor, but knowing the bills will be paid for another month somehow makes things better for him.
4. Homemade cookies and pies. Nuff said…
5. Prayer. Pray that your pastor doesn't snap and say what's really on his mind. Pray that your pastor doesn't preach from Jeremiah 10:1-5 on Christmas morning in front of all those people who only come to church on that day. Pray that your pastor remembers 1 Peter 5:2-3. Anything along these lines will help.
6. Silence. Turn off the cell phone. Put the fear of God into your child before services. Stop zipping your bible during the invitation. Go pee after the invitation. If someone next to you is snoring, nudge him. Things like that.
7. Forgiveness. Remember that time the Pastor spit in your coffee when he thought you weren't looking? Well, now is the time to forget it. Ok? Look, he's just another smelly human. He's going to mess up and get on people's nerves, just like everyone else. Let it go already. Them grudges get heavy anyway. Not doing yourself any favors by hanging on to ancient history. So this one's like giving your spouse a Starbuck's gift card. You know they'll spend some of it on you.