Rekindling the Christmas Spirit: My First Christmas at Luther

The holiday season is in full swing! Christmas lights adorn the trees, the stores all madly profess the best holiday deals of the season, and I’ve only been hearing Christmas music on the radio since the second week of November...

Christmas is one of the most wonderful holidays, but the onslaught of materialism and media that accompanies it is anything but wonderful. My greatest Christmas memories involve decorating sugar cookies with my siblings, picking out the tree with my family, and going to the midnight Christmas mass. Of course I love presents, but the toys I received as a five year old are not the things I remember.

I apologize for the rant, but all the extravagant spending, the endless savings on meaningless gifts, and the overall consumerist culture only works to smother the true Christmas Spirit.

Not during Christmas at Luther, the beautiful performance I attended last night.

As a person who took piano lessons for five years and learns to play new songs often, I am certainly not musically illiterate. However, compared to the musical community at Luther, my musical skills are shamefully inadequate. That being said, I was extremely excited to experience my first Christmas at Luther concert and witness the incredible vocal and orchestral talents of my peers. In terms of a purely musical performance, Christmas at Luther certainly lived up to all the hype surrounding it. But beyond that, Christmas at Luther helped rekindle the Christmas spirit within me. I was reminded of all the things that make Christmas special—family, community, and how the coming of the baby Jesus brings these two aspects together.

Community is present throughout the entire week of Christmas at Luther, as faculty and students alike prepare for this magnificent event. Although I haven’t personally experienced the five hour practices that constitute each day leading up to all the performances, I can only imagine the kind of physical and mental stress so much hard work entails. Christmas at Luther isn’t just a chorus or orchestra “thing” but a big part of the entire Luther College community.

Family is revealed magnificently in just how many people—parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins—attend. So many family members travel from all over the States to come and watch their loved ones perform. The fact that this event brings together family reflects the overall theme of family coming together during Christmas.

The celebration of Jesus’ birth is the final (and obviously most integral) component of Christmas. The beautiful music performed, both songs I am quite familiar with, as well as those I had never heard, truly does great justice to celebrating the coming of the Lord.

Christmas at Luther served as a beacon of light in the consumerist darkness that threatens to overtake the Christmas Spirit. This might have been my first experience at the performance, but it certainly will not be my last.

Before Christmas at Luther (There wasn't any photography allowed during the actual performance)

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