Buffalo Christmas Memories

Photo via BuffaloScenicPrints.com

Photo via BuffaloScenicPrints.com

It has been a long time since I believed in Santa Claus, and flying reindeer, but I will never forget my childhood Christmas memories of Western New York. Heading downtown to AM&A’s to pick out gifts for my parents, grandparents and rest of my family. The sight of the Nativity scene at St. Theresa’s in South Buffalo, the old-time lights and wreaths that blanketed the light poles of Buffalo, and the school trip to Kleinhans for the Holiday Pops.

The Nativity at St. Theresa's Church in S. Buffalo - Photo via https://www.facebook.com/stteresaofavilasrcchurchsobflo

The Nativity at St. Theresa’s Church in S. Buffalo – Photo via https://www.facebook.com/stteresaofavilasrcchurchsobflo

I grew up in Cheektowaga, but my grandparents lived in South Buffalo and I can still remember those days. The lights in my grandfathers window, and the old style plastic tree with ornaments that have now been passed down to me, and others in my family. He had an amazing village which he built each year, and that I would always scour the stores and catalogs to find a new addition to Town of Krzeminski . Later on I would also assume the duties as the caretaker of that Village after my grandfather passed on.

As I grew older and mostly wiser, I began to relish those moments on Weyand Street. The anticipation of seeing my large family, and playing with my cousins, while the grown-ups tended to the food. I saw a lot of family back then and it was an experience that I will always hold dear. I can still remember sneaking in the kitchen to steal a taste of my Aunt Carol’s Christmas cookies, or the smell of fresh polish sausage boiling, my first taste of Weber’s Mustard, and the way we acted with one another. I guess you could say the sounds, sights and smells of Christmas.

Main street circa 1960's.  -  Photo shared by Herb Reid — with Darlene Barone.

Main street circa 1960’s. – Photo shared by Herb Reid — with Darlene Barone.

Those days are over now, as family tends to often do, most have relocated, or grown older with a family of their own now, sadly some have even passed away. I think I took those days for granted as a child, feeling an air of invincibility for my loved ones, and believing they would always be near. The end of Christmas was sad for me as a child, like the feeling that Winter was over no matter what the temperature, or precipitation brought. As Christmas waned in the late evening I would lament the fact that Christmas and the sense of joy, happiness, and cheer, seemed like it would take forever to regain. After all a year back then was a long time when you’re a kid!

Now that I have a wife and child of my own, I know that some of my childhood thoughts we’re silly. Time, once the enemy in my pursuit for the joy of that day, is now nothing more than an understanding of day-to-day activities. Christmas has become so commercialized that it has taken some of the joy out of the Season. Still to see a five-year old wake up on Christmas Day and run to the tree to see what Santa brought him is magical. And in the end I still have those wonderful memories of Christmas Day with my whole family, and something tells me they’ll never go away.

– Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to everyone in Western New York, please feel free to leave your comments about your Buffalo Christmas Memories. Some may even make it on to our Facebook page!

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