For countless children worldwide, the arrival of Christmas Eve brings the excited anticipation of a visit by Santa Claus. For nearly three decades, many men who portrayed Kris Kringle in stores and in parades traveled to Albion to receive training on how to properly play the role. The man who founded the school, Charles W. Howard, was in his lifetime a leading authority figure on the holiday character.

Holiday lights could fight coronavirus depression

Dec 17, 2020
Byron Brown / Twitter

Holiday lights could be one way to climb out of the holiday depression and anxiety brought on by COVID-19. One central New York psychiatric expert said stringing more lights can only help everyone’s mood.

Dennis M V David / Battledore Ltd. via AP

The first commercially printed Christmas card is up for sale, but it wasn't universally greeted as a merry scene when it first appeared in 1843.

Daddy Al's General Store

This year, a world-famous holiday sight has its roots in Oneonta, NY.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For many, the symbol of Christmas is a good family meal. But for less fortunate people, they can't do it themselves. That's where an array of community agencies step in and provide meals and Christmas presents in the spirit of the season.

For the first time in years, it’s a wonderful time to grow Christmas trees.

Christmas tree growers say 2019 has been the industry’s best year in decades — in part because of a number of bad years, says Chal Landgren, a Christmas tree specialist at Oregon State University.

Landgren grows trees on a five-acre farm north of Portland, Oregon, and says seedlings planted in 2019 have seen good rates of survival. That wasn’t the case from 2015 to 2018, when dry, hot summers led growers to plan for losses.

Katie Lange / U.S. Department of Defense

On a chilly evening in Washington, D.C., 1,100 service members from all branches of the military settled in at The Anthem auditorium for an evening with the trappings of home: hot dogs, comedy and country music.

That shirt you received. That book you already read. Stores are waiting for you today and hoping you will buy more on Boxing Day.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Young students gathered Friday inside the gymnasium at Buffalo's Charles Drew Magnet School #59 Annex were told they'd be visited by a "super special visitor." It wasn't Santa Claus. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and several local elected officials joined local military members to play Santa and provide toys to students, many of whom the governor suggested might otherwise not have much beneath the Christmas tree.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Local and state officials are promoting farm-fresh Christmas trees this holiday season. It is an $8 million industry in New York State and the trees are also good for the environment.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Thursday night, members of a Jewish synagogue on Sheridan Drive in Amherst lit another candle for the eight days of Chanukah, while a group of Christians guarded against anti-semitism outside.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills are keeping crews busy at the AAA of Western and Central New York.

Recalling the doomed 'Christmas Tree Ship'

Dec 12, 2017

The Christmas spirit is popping up along the waters of the Great Lakes region.

In Port Huron, Mich., Santa Claus rode to shore on the Huron Spirit, a boat operated by the Lakes Pilots Association. In Toledo, Ohio, the tug Josephine brought him to the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

But the most poignant event of the holiday season was in Chicago, where the sinking of  "The Christmas Tree Ship" was remembered recently.

A new survey says that a majority of New York State residents plan to keep their holiday spending budgets pretty level with what they spent last year.

FDA warns pet owners about bone treats

Nov 29, 2017
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Many dog owners know not to toss a turkey or chicken bone to their dog; those bones are just too brittle. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the risk goes beyond that, especially when it comes to the “bone treats” you may see at the store.

This may not be good news for your waistline, but your sweet tooth might appreciate it: Halloween candy sales are crackerjack this year.

"Consumer confidence is riding high, so consumers are likely to splurge a little more on edible goodies," David Deull, a senior economist with IHS Markit, said in his analysis of 2017 Halloween spending.

Halloween candy sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent from last year, reaching a seasonally adjusted $4.1 billion, he said.

For the twelfth straight year, the Buffalo Dream Center and Hearts for the Homeless teamed up to feed individuals and families in need.

WBFO file photo

On the Monday before Christmas, just that one day alone, United States Postal Service personnel were expected to handle approximately 611 million pieces of mail. The final days leading up to Christmas will be extra busy for postal carriers, including those in Western New York who have processed tens of millions of cards and letters since Thanksgiving.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

Snow will continue to accumulate in areas across Western New York over the weekend.

A majority of New Yorkers who participated in Siena College Research Institute's poll of holiday trends say they plan to spend the same amount of money on gifts as they did last year. A wide majority say they'll give to the less fortunate and, by a slim margin, New Yorkers prefer the greeting "Merry Christmas."

Comforting new pillows for those in need

Nov 29, 2016
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A unique collection drive for the holiday season is underway and it is not about food. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us volunteers are collecting new pillows to provide comfort to those in need who seek assistance at the Response to Love Center.  

Credit Domes Farms, Inc.

The Christmas tree farming industry is in full swing with many people selecting their tree for the upcoming holiday season. A local farm will be providing a tree to be displayed in front of Lincoln Center in New York City.

While Christmas in New York City is a time to add performances to the schedule, here in Western New York theaters shut down for the Christmas holiday. And so, locally, with the exception of IT WAS A WONDERFUL LIFE, this is your last weekend in 2015 to take in a Buffalo show.

Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York

As Western New Yorkers anxiously await the first sign of winter white, New York’s Christmas tree farmers are hoping to see a lot of green this holiday season.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The holidays are a time to be enjoyed with friends and family, which is why Mothers Against Drunk Driving kicked off its 28th annual Red Ribbon Campaign, today.

WBFO News File Photo

Forecasters with the National Weather Service are expecting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be windy rather than white this year. WBFO's Jay Moran spoke with Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock about the holiday forecast.

'The 12 Scams of Christmas'

Dec 19, 2014
Cheryl Hagen/WBFO News

The Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is out with its list of "The 12 Scams of Christmas." These Christmas cons may be worth a look as you celebrate the holidays.

Two versions of “A Christmas Carol,” one with Mike Randall at the Sheridan-Parkside Community Center Theatre and one (32 years running!) at the Alleyway, continue as does “Miracle on South Division Street” by “Over the Tavern” playwright Tom Dudzick at the Roycroft Pavilion in East Aurora and “Jerry’s Girls” presented by O’Connell and Company at the Park School in Snyder.

SantaCon to spread holiday cheer and good will

Dec 13, 2014

Hundreds of volunteers decked out in Santa Claus costumes will collect toy donations in downtown Buffalo Saturday. The fourth annual SantaCon Buffalo will take place at participating businesses along Chippewa Street from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registration will be held at 1:30 p.m. at 67 West.


A Lancaster family is celebrating the holidays with what they're calling "One Buffalo Christmas Lights."