Tonawanda News

Columns

November 30, 2012

The Christmas you won't forget

Tonawanda News — In the manner of dancers who can make every walking move a dance, or grumps who think every action, from buying a car to growing a beard, is a political statement, traditions, especially Christmas traditions, can bloom spontaneously, so watch out. Your customary way of doing things tends to get magnified by the holidays — not the things you do, the way you do them.

I watch for an event called the “Kissmas Bash,” a concert in the arena where the Sabres used to play. Underwritten by a local radio station too hip for me and directed at young pop culture enthusiasts, it is a revue presented by the hottest names offering what passes for music in certain circles. I understand the most recent ascendant to the position of American Idol will be performing this year.

Will I attend? Hell no, but if you’re going I hope you enjoy the show. I visit downtown Buffalo a lot, but not on that evening (the show starts at 6 p.m., the better to get all those white kids back to the suburbs at a decent hour), because the Elm Street offramp of the I-190 will be clogged with lost moms in cars, hauling suburban kids who’ve never seen downtown to the show, and that exit is the only one they know. 

Sellers of counterfeit T-shirts will be lining the streets to the arena, whatever it’s called these days, and I’m thinking of setting up an Excedrin stand for the moms.

See? The show, the drive, the traffic jam and me, avoiding it all. That’s tradition!

Do you shop on Black Friday? Shop in the final hours of Christmas Eve, maybe? Tradition!

I’m among those who are not religious by nature but nonetheless enjoy Christmas (you’re allowed to be that way in this country). The celebration of Christmas has a long tradition, manifested well in music, and that’s what I seek during the holidays, so I attend concerts of unfamiliar Christmas songs composed between 100 and 600 years ago. (Those “new holiday classics” you hear on the radio are calculated devices written for profit. It’s why artists, notably country music artists, who stick around for at least four albums of material tend to make their fifth a Christmas album; it sells reliably and in perpetuity, and the artist can treat it like an annuity.)

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