Tag Archives: christmas

The Santaland Diaries

23 Dec

In my house, David Sedaris is key to a wonderful Christmas. In the spirit of enlarging your yule, I’d like to share with you the Santaland Diaries.

Santaland Diaries, Part 1:

Click through to hear the full story.

Continue reading

Artvoice? Art!

12 Dec

On Sunday, I attended the “Santa’s Brunch” at the iconic “Salvatore’s Italian Garden” in Lancaster. (Yes, it was a buffet. Yes, they added the gratuity. Yes, they added 18% after tax for a buffet).

Lest anyone think Salvatore’s is full of nothing but tack, the work of a local artist is featured in a hallway towards the rear of the building. The “crying Santa” series is something to behold, as is the whole concept of Santa Claus interacting with the infant Savior.

Only baby Jesus can console Santa

Santa and the Hobo

Santa holds baby Jesus

An Angel appears to Santa and the Hobo

Santa prays over baby Jesus

How can the hobo afford clown makeup?


Email me at buffalopundit[at]gmail.com

The Nooner – The Five Worst Christmas Songs Ever

28 Nov

A new semi-regular feature on AV Daily will be a top five list for us to discuss and argue. I mean, everyone likes lists, right?

It’ll be released sometime around noon each day and will primarily be written by me, but other writers may fill in based on availability.

We’ll kick it off with the discussion I had with a customer this morning and turned into a heated hour long argument amongst a dozen people that was then transferred to Twitter. You can take my list, re-arrange it and/or substitute songs, but you have to offer your own list. You can’t just complain about mine.

As Buffalo and WNY radio stations begin pummeling us about the head and shoulders with their commercial pop yule logs, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the five worst Christmas songs. Ground rules are that these have to be real Christmas songs that you have a legitimate chance of hearing on local radio. If we go into the unsavory corners of YouTube, we can find some really dark and horrible Christmas songs, like this one:

But, I want to keep it real.  So, it has to be a song you regularly hear on the radio during the annual War on Christmas.

5.Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk On Christmas)” by John Denver – So, we all remember that John Denver was an alcoholic, right? K, just checking. In the first verse, the song describes how Dad came home drunk on Christmas last year and in the second verse, he comes home drunk again. The whole song leaves you hanging and the unfortunate listener is left to assume that Denver passed out while recording this little ditty.

4.Christmastime” by The Smashing Pumpkins – This songs gives me the creeps and it sounds like the lyrics were co-written with Jerry Sandusky. This song sounds like a lonely Christmas suicide.

3.Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters – Remember that lady who suffered from seizures whenever she heard Mary Hart’s voice? I have a similar problem when I hear Karen Carpenter attempt to turn the word “Christmas” into a verb. I don’t have seizures, but I’m filled with malevolence and a desire to knock over snowmen.

2.Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney – An awful melody, horrible instruments, Linda’s warbling, and bad memories of disappointing gifts. The opening synth notes immediately make my Christmas spirit turtle up like George Castanza’s schmekel in a cold pool.

1.  “Christmas Shoes” by NewSong – A red state country Christmas song that is beloved by Twilight Moms and serial killers.

However, Christmas Shoes inspired this brilliant bit by Patton Oswalt, so it has that going for it, which is nice.

Also, honorable mention: “Backdoor Santa” by Clarence Carter – Because who doesn’t love a song about Santa bribing kids to go to bed early so he can have anal sex with their Mom?

A Special Christmas in Buffalo

21 Dec

In a city which is host to tens of thousands of families who struggle to get by each and every day, it takes thousands of unnoticed random acts of kindness to keep it all together. Trite? Not by a long shot.

St Luke’s Mission of Mercy is a headquarters of hope on Buffalo’s East Side. Earlier this month, we visited St. Luke’s to see how their efforts were making a difference in their community this Holiday season.


Each person who contributes in small, meaningful ways provides the glue which keeps this struggling community together.   So often, their efforts are overlooked because of a bigger, presumably more important story.   These people don’t contribute to charities or help those who are less fortunate in order to garner news coverage or even a thank you.   They do it because it’s the right thing to do and because they love their community and the people in it.

Michele Johnson is one of those people.  If you know Michele, you’re a better person because of it.   She is an asset to this city and she has touched the lives of so many with her grace, generosity and dignity.

In memory of her beloved son James, who passed away tragically in January of 2009 at the age of 24, she and her friends put together nearly 200 Christmas Stockings for kids at St. Luke’s Church in Buffalo.  Each stocking is filled with some warm socks or mittens, a small toy, a candy cane and a gift card.   For many kids, it’s the only Christmas present they’ll get this year.

She uses our site, Facebook, SpeakUpWNY, Twitter, email, and the phone to rally people to the aid of those in need during Christmas and all year round.  The beauty of Buffalo and WNY is that there are thousands of Michele Johnsons doing the very same thing.  I single her out because she is the reason I feel a very special Christmas spirit this year and she is one of my closest, most dear friends.  Meeting someone like Michele who gives so much of herself can change your life for the better, it certainly changed mine.

Last year, we shot this video of her and her friends bringing Easter baskets to the children of St. Luke’s.


Bringing a moment of joy to children is a beautiful thing. If you have the time or resources, there are so many organizations which need your help this year, please consider helping out with donations of food, gifts, gently used clothes, warm coats, mittens, hats, and boots to the Buffalo City Mission, The Matt Urban Hope Center, Friends of The Night People, or any of the other hundreds of organizations in the city which help the less fortunate.

Learn more about St. Luke’s:


Merry Christmas

24 Dec

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re a lurker, consider this an invitation to post a comment. Make a prediction about what might happen next year, like I and others did for Artvoice.

Thanks to Marc & Chris for the opportunity to do whatever I want here, however I want to.

Thanks to the other contributors on WNYM for adding to the insight and commentary. My favorite way to read the site now is to click on the WNYMedia heading and reading everyone’s contributions in one column.

Thanks to the team that delivered the new site, especially Chris Van Patten. It’s been working very well and people seem to like it.

Thanks to my beautiful wife and wonderful kids, who put up with this hobby of mine.

Thanks to my parents, who instilled in me a curiosity and love of learning, and gave me life experiences that shaped my points of view.

Thanks to western New York for being that snowy, static, friendly, predictable, dysfunctional place we all love so much.

Thanks to other local websites and blogs, some big and corporate, others little and independent, who bring their own perspectives on goings on in the Buffalo area, and keeping us hustling.

Thanks to the haters, who remind me of the good old days of usenet. You all suck and you all lose.

Finally, thanks to the political world for being such a consistent bucket of fail and source of material.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy & prosperous New Year. Posting will be light, so keep an eye on Twitter.

And now, Stevie Ray Vaughan playing Rude Mood on Unplugged in 1990, when MTV was relevant.


If You Go Carryin' Pictures of Chairman Mao

23 Dec

Idiots are upset that Obama’s Christmas tree contains an ornament with a reproduction Warhol print of Chairman Mao.

I guess they take this as proof positive that Obama is transforming the country into a place where our society could pretty much skip the whole bourgeois capitalist phase anticipated by Marxist philosophy, and go directly to socialism on its way to communism using the peasants as the vanguard of the revolution to wage guerrilla war against feudal leaders.

Or something.

Meanwhile, Obama’s just pissed off the left wing of his own party, because he’s such a moderate centrist.

Seriously, it would so much help if people knew what they were talking about when they throw the dumb around.

Oh No!!!

17 Dec

Failsign is full of Fail.

Making a List, Checking it Twice

10 Dec

Courtesy Marquil at Empirewire.com.

And let me add how much I love this cartoon.  Particularly the state budget is depicted as an obese tween with a massive list for Santa, and the reference to the detestable Zhu Zhu Pets.

Merry Hanakwanmas!

24 Dec

It’s been a decidedly slow news week around these parts as it would appear the politicians have taken some time off from their typical daily displays of incompetence to share a bit of the Yule Log and a nip of egg nog…which will undoubtedly be taxed under Paterson’s new budget.  Drink up now, next year, the nog will have a $1 per quart tax!  That’s the local political Christmas tradition, announce doom and gloom news in Mid-December and take the rest of the year off.

Personally, my family has a few traditions of our own.  We like to celebrate the holiday season perusing our collection of Soviet Christmas Cards and sharing some of the ol’ fascist fruitcake.  How about you?  What are some of your family traditions?  What did you have on your Christmas list this year?  What are you getting for that special concerned citizen on your list?

Elf’s Lament

27 Dec

Best Christmas song in the last 50 years?