Buzz loves Christmas, and we never lose sight of the real reason for the season, which is annoying the guys at the Buffalo nursery where we usually buy our tree. They are such grinches! Which we love. We go alone, wearing a red scarf, and while the guys grouchily show us our options, we smile, humming “O Tannenbaum.” “Merry Christmas!” we sing out when we leave. This year, alas, we missed out on that. We had to settle for an aluminum tree. Our old stand broke, and from bitter experience we know no store would have one so late. However: There is a bright side to our ineptitude. Ancient tradition dictates that the tree not go up till Christmas Eve! Plus, as friends point out: “You'll make up for it, by keeping it up till March.”

Politics on ice

Think of the swirling song “Skating,” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Now picture Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza. And County Executive Mark Poloncarz, skating around. The vision is real! Poloncarz, charmingly, enjoys skating on that rink, relaxing, without too many people around. Last week our niece Barbara, 7, got to meet him. She has had a civics class and is interested in Buffalo's VIPs. Her dad introduced her to Poloncarz, and she was dazzled as, tall and dignified as Lincoln, Poloncarz shook her hand. Pursuantly she pursued him on the ice, and they skated around together as she made him talk shop. Barbara's dad, embarrassed, apologized. But the good-natured pol smiled. “That's OK,” he said. “Kids are easy. They're nothing compared to legislators.”

Bone Thugs-N-Buzz

New on Spotify, the Internet music site, Buzz has been assembling the world's squarest Christmas playlist. We have tenor Jussi Bjoerling singing “O Helga Natt” (that's “O Holy Night” in Swedish). And Nat “King” Cole. And Gregorian Chant. And the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. So what does Spotify toss up to us as something we might like? Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Thuggish II.” Then, Laziebone. In the name of the North Pole! Didn't Spotify bother to snoop at all into our little sonic igloo to see what we were listening to? Why can't people ever violate your privacy when you want them to?

The padre is in

Father Rick Poblocki of St. Josaphat Church in Cheektowaga takes questions on Catholic radio, 101.7 FM, most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m., and he always cracks us up. Recently, one caller kept arguing over the wording of the Our Father. The padre, after dealing with him patiently, finally said: “It is what it is, and there it is.” Another caller had to work Christmas Day and asked if it was OK to go to Mass on Christmas Eve. Father Rick said sure. “You're in like Flint, kid.” (You can't say “in like Flynn” on Catholic radio.) The best was one woman worrying whether it was OK for her son to go to hear the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, trundling into Buffalo on Thursday. “I'm not a fan,” Father Rick admitted. “It's like elevator music, or something you'd hear sitting around a cafeteria someplace.” But he gave it his imprimatur. He said: “He could be listening to a lot worse stuff.”

The buzz

Speaking of the TSO, Andy Anselmo, Buffalo's famous vocal coach, went to a party that just about topped them. He teaches Caroline Jones, daughter of billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, and went to the Joneses' Christmas party in Greenwich, Conn. The light display was marveled at by Business Insider, and the entertainment was Bon Jovi. ... Got to love attorney William Mattar's Christmas jingle: “Hit by a sleigh? Call us today!” Ahem. “Santa baby, tell Donner, Blitzen, Dancer and Dash / To crash... Into our roof, so we'll be rich, Santa baby. Please crash into our chimney next year!”


“Get your house ready in the (saint) nick of time.”

– Martha Stewart article for Christmas procrastinators