Tonawanda News


November 30, 2012

The Christmas you won't forget


Tonawanda News — So, it’s classical Christmas music for me, the cheapest form of live music out there.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Village of Kenmore opens its Municipal Building to Santa Claus, who arrives in a Kenmore fire truck and sits in art moderne splendor to hear the entreaties and requests of Kenmore kids who are accompanied by parents and grandparents who did the same thing not many years ago. Tradition! 

This year the line snaked out the building, down the stairs and looped back on itself around the Village Green, which was artfully decorated in ribbons and plywood candy canes by the elves and artists of the Kenmore Village Improvement Society. Theirs is a new tradition, but if it ever stops, you’ll miss it, badly, and you’ll wonder what happened.

Christmas promotes accommodation in its tradition. A family Christmas dinner, for example, typically expands and contracts according to whose been born, who died, who’s divorced, who’s having dinner with another family, who’s in combat this year and the like. These memories endure because every year it’s not the same and yet the same, a touchstone in the procession of life that encourages variation. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, as they say in Montreal (where I once spent a spectacular and memorable Christmas holiday, a long time ago, but never mind).

I’ll gripe like Clark W. Griswold about the ball of tree lights I’ll find in the attic and unwind before they get installed, go places to meet up with friends like I’m in a Michelob commercial, write notes, tidings of comfort and joy, to the faraway friends. In line at the post office, I’ll chat with strangers and learn about their faraway friends.

If you lack tradition, start some. Watch some bad Lifetime movies, make eggnog from scratch, invite your unknown neighbors over, go see a pageant by kids who aren’t yours. Mooch a ride on a toboggan, visit an unfamiliar church service, see how saloonkeepers decorate the place for the holidays. Donate to a friend’s favorite cause, and don’t brag about it.

You don’t have to be a starry-eyed 8-year-old to wring some impact out of this time of year. The upcoming holiday season can be memorable, so make memories. Then do it next Christmas. That’s called tradition.

Ed Adamczyk is a Kenmore resident whose column appears Fridays in the Tonawanda News. Contact him at

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