Buffalo, NY Xmas Displays to Light up Your La-la-la-Life

Let's face it, so long as you live in this country, the period between November 1 and January 1 will be entirely devoted to the holidays, for the rest of your life, whether you like it or not. Don't worry, it's not that bad. After you finish your shopping, cooking, baking, Christmas cards, decorating, overtime working and cleaning your house for company, you'll finally have time for the greatest Christmas pastime: drinking checking out delightful holiday displays. Here are some of Buffalo's best.

The Great Grain Elevators
Downtown Buffalo consists of many repurposed remnants from their industrial days of the 1960s and 70s. And the most imaginative of them all are the old grain elevators. Since 2012, not only have the elevators been a site for tours and impromptu parties, they're also lit up 365 nights a year, providing a 360 degree visual delight. In the winter months, as a special treat, those lights go holiday style. Fact: Buffalo was once the world's largest grain port and was and shall always be The City of Light.

Canalside District
A downtown harbor area sounds pretty boring, no? Well, that's true if you happen to hate ice skating, hockey, curling, live music and some of the most vibrant holiday lights/decorations in the entire city. However, if you happen to love one or more of these things, than Canalside is your one-stop holiday destination. Starting December 4, with the tree lighting and holiday extravaganza, Canalside will continue its nonstop holiday fun for the remainder of the year.

Fairgrounds Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights used to be a big deal around Buffalo and northward into Niagara Falls, NY and Canada. But then, a bunch of municipal white-shirts got together and decided fun cost too much money and grinched the hell out of the Christmas season. Then twelve years ago the fairgrounds and gaming center in Hamburg, NY figured: "Hey, if people loved it so much, why not have our own Festival of Lights and charge money to get in!" And so a capitalistic Xmas tradition began, equipped with a Xmas tree farm, various festive houses, a bunch of activities for the kiddies and light, lots and lots of shiny lights.

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine
Lewiston's Fatima Shrine fulfills the needs of two distinguishable groups: Xmas fans who want a little more religion in their holiday season, and religious folk who want a little more Christmas in their holy shrines. Plus, this vast display of non-gaudy lights is a fantastic sight to take in even for the most secular of visitors. Interestingly enough, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine is one of the few remaining Festival of Lights stops on the American side of the falls. Now, you're probably wondering why those municipal holiday suppressors didn't stop them as well. The answer is simple: separation of church and state.

Cheektavegas Griswolds
Now onto Buffalo's best decorated private home, year after year. The Cheektavegas Griswolds home is decked out to the nines, just like the Griswold hone in the holiday classic Christmas Vacation. Buffalonians are enamored with this house because it reminds them of the 1989 Chevy Chase classic, everyone's favorite Xmas movie. And before anyone says Elf starring Will Ferrell is the new holiday champion, remember that it has yet to be challenged by the test of time. And for those that believe It's a Wonderful Life is best, that's also wrong. It's not even a Christmas movie. Sure, it ends on Christmas day, but over two-thirds of the film doesn't even take place on or near December 25.

Gregory Austin has a Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. He's a freelance and fiction writer, and his favorite Christmas song is Yah Das Ist Ein Christmas Tree by the legendary Mel Blanc.