Tonawanda News

November 29, 2013

This is why it's the most wonderful time of the year

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Welcome to the day after Thanksgiving. You survived your tryptophan coma, came out of it so nicely you can read black ink on gray paper and can now begin your celebratory slide through the rest of the year.

This is how we do it where I live. First, if you’re one of the 41 million people going somewhere this weekend, go there, or go home, or go there and then come home. This year it’s only a four-and-one-half-week interval between now and New Year’s Eve, so plan appropriately.

Now, think of the calendar as one festive month, named December. If you work, acknowledge little will get done this month; the same will happen for your customers and your competitors, so don’t worry about it.

All right, Thanksgiving came and went. (As did the first day of Hanukkah, arriving early and coinciding with Thanksgiving. I’m tempted to say the turkey leftovers will last eight days, but that’s courtesy of David Letterman.)

Concentrate now on “Black Friday,” the day your nation compels you to pull the economy from the Dumpster by patronizing retail facilities, of which there are too many because there’s a surfeit of people with business degrees who need to do something. Thrill to the lack of variety in stores, and admit no one does customer service like the Americans. 

Same thing with online retailing, minus the happy glow of helpful clerks. When you shop online you tend to believe (or disbelieve) whatever the catalog says your product is, does, can be or does for you. Marvel at the way no one does copywriting like the Americans.

Need a lightening, brightening of Christmas spirit? Of course you do, so watch a few movies on the Hallmark Channel, that well of newly produced feel-good holiday epics, old-school tales in which someone always “learns the true meaning of Christmas.”

Write a holiday song, which, if you can somehow make stick, becomes an annuity, a yearly cash cow (just don’t sign over the copyright), or write a Hallmark Channel movie, maybe involving a good-natured moppet without a mom/dad/arm/reason to live who converts a curmudgeon/terrorist/dictator/Republican into a loving, giving person. (And write a role for Heather Locklear; she tends to improve anything she’s in.)

Note what’s going on around you! Besides the weather. The Village of Kenmore will present a Santa visit at the Municipal Building at 1 Saturday afternoon, and a “holiday sing-along” on Dec. 6. Name another non-farming community which artfully pulls that off, every year. And save up for the Kenmore Merchants Association’s “Stop, Sip and Shop” event on Dec. 12, which will encourage wine-sampling and visiting the shops of Delaware Avenue to see what’s new (drinking, eating, shopping, loitering and running into people you know, all in the friendly confines of my hometown; priceless). 

If someone with my attitude can get invited to a number of holiday parties, so can you, so get invited and go. Overdo it. You likely don’t overdo much in life, except for work, so socialize your brains out. If you’re invited, go. Go to concerts; someone, somewhere is singing something, straight through December.

Celebrate Kwanzaa, even though it may not look like your sort of festivity. It honors virtues, dates back to California in 1966 and seems to some as artificial as Sweetest Day or the rollout of a science fiction film, but trust me, if you spend each of its seven days, this year beginning Dec. 26, pondering its principles, you’ll hit 2014 a better person, and it can be an experience more enlightening than any Hallmark Channel movie. 

Note the moment the Buffalo Bills fall out of playoff contention, a date moveable on the calendar but tradition-worthy nonetheless. Canadian beer is an excellent choice for this. 

Christmas. Make it merry, religious, festive, somber, quiet, noisy, reflective, whatever you need. It’s one of the few days the world essentially shuts down for something other than a tragedy or emergency incident, so enjoy it while you can. 

That juggernaut of life begins rolling again the following day and sends you headlong into New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year! My household celebrates it with exotic food and drink, the kind of stuff we don’t ordinarily eat and cannot afford (no turkey), to inspire Walter Mitty-like aspirations of how 2014 will be different from the rest.

We now begin one potentially happy, busy month. Choose your activities wisely, unless you prefer to choose them foolishly. Either way you’ll likely live to the new year. And if these suggestions don’t work for you, find out what Rachael Ray recommends; that girl is always doing something interesting.

Ed Adamczyk is a Kenmore resident whose column appears Fridays in the Ken-Ton Record. Contact him at EdinKenmore@gmail.com.

Ed Adamczyk is a Kenmore resident whose column appears Fridays in the Ken-Ton Record. Contact him at EdinKenmore@gmail.com.