Merry Christmas Baby

Two towers are located where Google Maps positions radio station KTJK, which continues to play Christmas music. It's unclear which is the "North Pole" which building is Santa's workshop.(Photo: Greg Jaklewicz)

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Every year, we are encouraged to make the Christmas spirit continue the following 11 months. Not just one month but 365 days.

Peace. Goodwill. Maybe pumpkin pie or figgy pudding in July. Music.

Wait. Christmas music all year? You're kidding. 

By Christmas Day, even those of us who totally enjoy Christmas music (heavy on the moderation of barking dogs, the Chipmunks and "Jingle Bell Rock") are ready to move on.

Santa Claus coming to town is a big deal. But not enough to plan on it all year. Besides, we know he takes off 11 months and vacations in Winters.

Radio station KTJK, the voice of Hawley, apparently is making a go of the Christmas all year ideal.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Santa 101.7 still was in a holiday mood. 

'Silver Bells' still ringing

KTJK through the season has promoted itself as sending Christmas favorites down our chimneys. Ho-ho-ho!

Sleigh bells still were jingling.

Mommy still was kissin' on Santa Claus (but maybe needing Chapstick)

Still holding out for that hippopotamus.

Rudolph, that red-nosed reindeer, has outlasted Mason Rudolph, the Steelers rookie quarterback, and Kyle Rudolph, the purple-clad Vikings receiver. Neither of their teams made it to the NFL playoffs.

The weekend highs in Abilene were 70 each day but baby, it's cold outside. 

As abrupt as it is when stations that had played Christmas music since just after Thanksgiving shift back to, say, hip-hop, on Dec. 26,  it's stranger to hear Bing when your vehicle dings turning the key in the ignition more than a week into the new year.

It was warm enough to roll down a window but did you want the guy in the next lane at the red light to give you that "Are you still playing Christmas music?" look.

The radio business has a history of living on the edge. Back in the day, deejays would lock the door and play a certain song over and over. Their gimmicks and promotions are stuff of legend. 

So why not play Christmas music, even on Jan. 8, when Elvis was born? I am sure KTJK played "Blue Christmas," Elvis version, in his honor.

And if it played "We Three Kings," would we wonder, "Elvis and who else?" 

Who are these guys?

Curious, I scouted around to find information on KTJK. I came across basically nothing.

It's part of Waco Entertainment Group LLC, for which I found no contact information. It has stations in Waco and nearby, but the broadcast empire extends to Early, Mertzon (west of San Angelo) and Hawley.

Are the other stations playing Christmas music, too? Or did someone forget about the Hawley station? 

I went to Google Maps because during my early internet searches, I saw a locator map placing the radio station between Abilene and Hawley, More specifically, on Summit Road just off Pine Street near its intersection with U.S. Highway 277 in northwest Abilene. Hawley?

Not really. Not even South Hawley.

It's in the neighborhood, however, of Impact, and back in the day, we might have wondered if an imbibing elf had visited a package store there, sneaked into the radio station and taken control. 

"I don't know if there'll be snow

But have a cup of cheer."

Or maybe more.

Google's street map first showed a salvage yard and eventually, two tall towers in a field, accessed by a dirt road. No building that we could see, negating our plan to hop in the sleigh to pay a visit.

Not exactly the North Pole. North Abilene maybe. 

Still going

We checked Wednesday morning and sure enough, more Christmas music.

"Ill Be Home for Christmas."

Either the singer is really late, possibly held up by the partial government shutdown, or he or she is planning ahead. Way ahead.

Of course, no one has to listen. But it has been fun to check in, going from the oldies station at 100.7 to the rock station at 102.7. A few minutes of "Merry Christmas Baby" is good for the soul.

The message from pulpits around the country after Christmas challenged congregations to live the Christmas spirit all year, not just for one season. 

It may be strange, but KTJK is doing just that. 

So have a Hawley Jawley Christmas.

Twitter:@GregJaklewicz

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Greg Jaklewicz (Photo: Thomas Metthe)

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