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Bah! Humbug!

When a certain writer for the super reputable periodical The New York Post recently called Rochester "grim and depressing," many locals bristled. Hey, we might have something like 80 percent cloud cover most days of the year, but that is our gloom to make fun of, not the business of any outsiders. And this was in an article she wrote that poked fun at New Yorkers' excitement over the new Brooklyn Wegmans, no less.

Others embraced her sneer with humor: The Rochester Red Wings quickly arranged and announced a "Maureen Callahan night" for next August (when, surely, there will be some sunshine) in honor of the now-viral writer and her commentary, and tickets are already getting scooped up.

So in that spirit, we're embracing our "grim and depressing" city during the darkest and gloomiest holiday months with what we think is a realistic amount of glee, seasoned with plenty of snark.

In this year's Holiday Guide, Emily Morry looks back at a few seasonal traditions in local history. How did Rochesterians of yesteryear cope with the toll that the dismal weather doldrums take on a person?

If you're like me, your shoulders sit right up under your ears any time you have to go into a store after Halloween and anticipate they'll be playing the cringiest of holiday tunes. It really feels like a relentless attack sometimes. Declan Ryan unpacks which songs he thinks are actually good seasonal music.

Heading to a Friendsgiving or other holiday gathering, but not sure what to bring? J. Nevadomski has created a couple of hearty, easy-to-make recipes — one savory, one sweet — that are sure to please.

And Adam Lubitow has cooked up a fresh batch of holiday movies for every taste, including new features coming out in theaters, some seasonal stuff that's streaming, and classics being screened at local indie art houses.

In This Guide...

  • Potluck-y

    Easy, hearty dishes to bring to seasonal gatherings

  • Making the most of meteorological misery

    Historic winter holiday traditions in Rochester

  • Mistletoe and Holly(wood)

    Christmas and movie-watching go together like eggnog and bourbon. But just as everyone's holiday traditions are different, one's personal tastes in holiday movies also tends to vary wildly.

  • Mixtape: A Curmudgeon's Guide to Holiday Music

    I do not like Christmas music. Never have.