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Masri has been touring the United States, plus a number of what he calls “one-offs” scattered around the continent, wrapping up 2011 with this present Christmas tour.

It has been so busy, in fact, that he is looking forward to going home for a brief time before the holidays to wind down and he says, “do all that last-minute shopping I’ve had absolutely no time to do up to that point, and just get into the mood. You know, grab that latte and sort of walk through the mall, taking in the lights and trees and watching the bustling shoppers."

I wondered if there was any time while on tour for Christmas shopping. He was diplomatic; “Well, my wife doesn’t say it, but she does all of the shopping for the family, and I tend to just take care of her and our son. I don’t really have the biggest load in terms of the Christmas shopping but I do have the two most important people to shop for; that’s the added pressure for me!”

Masri has had three Christmas tours with Jim Brickman that last 25 to 30 days each, and occasionally he says, there would be a free afternoon to get some shopping done but he adds, “typically speaking, I’m kind of a last-minute guy anyway. There’s something about the pressure that makes it easier for me to make a decision.”

So when Masri returns to his Pickering-area home to be with the family at Christmas, I wondered if there was a particular family tradition they observed each year.

He bowed to his parents, saying it was not unusual for his father to invite strangers to the house for a meal over the holidays if they appeared to be less fortunate than Masri's family.

These days, Mark and his family reach out Christmas Day by serving meals to the less fortunate, saying “I think it’s important to help out in some capacity because we have so much to be thankful for, and it is the season for giving.”

Beyond that, they have to deal with spending Christmas Eve with one side of the family and Christmas Day with the other, of course, but also one other thing.

Masri admits to being the kind of guy who likes to bake “because I am also the kind of guy who likes to eat.” That’s why he goes into the kitchen and comes up with some new creation each year for the family gathering. But he remains mum on what this year’s concoction will be...

Mark Masri loves Christmas. And this Christmas, prepare to fall in love with Mark Masri.

Dramatic results. No theatrics.

Written by music aficionado and radio producer Mike Saunders with permission from our media sponsor NewsTalk 610 CKTB. St. Catharines Welland Grimsby



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