Having a passion for the Christmas season

Published 9:06 am Friday, December 23, 2011

By the Rev. Daphne Hamborg, Bear Lake Concordia and St. Paul Lutheran Parish

Throughout December, I have been listening to a radio station that I don’t normally tune in to: 105.3, also known as “soft rock 105.” I found it by accident last year, and remembered it this year during the week after Thanksgiving. I remembered it because I remembered its promise: “all Christmas, all the time.” My heart soared.

I don’t have the space here to fully describe my passion for the Christmas season, but I’d be misleading if I suggested it was only spiritual. I love the music, the lights, the glitz, the gifts, the gatherings. I love the sweaters, the food and the cards that other people send. Having a radio station, then, that nurses these loves has been a treat.

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There has always been a problem, however. Infrequently, but consistently, an announcer would voice this warning: immediately, come Dec. 26, the party ends. From feast to famine, from amber fields of beans to dry desert ground. Soft rock 105 is no longer playing Christmas carols. Not one note of “White Christmas.” Certainly no “Silent Night.”

It’s tempting for us to do the same thing — to shut up shop now when Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have passed. Many of us will collapse into exhausted, well-nourished heaps. It would be tempting to just hibernate until New Year’s, and then drag ourselves, blinking, into the cold white light of January.

But, fortunately for us, Christmas is not about our own energy levels, or even about our own wishes. Christmas is about the desires of God. Jesus, just born, reveals and will continue to reveal God’s dreams and hopes. The message of Christmas is this: God wishes the world well. And God’s good wishes are the beginning of our hope.