Spending Christmas in New York City last year was magical. As cliche as it sounds, I think it was because I got to spend my time doing all the stereotypical activities you do at Christmas time when the weather is cold. In Australia it is always so hot, so it was completely different to what I was used to. And I loved it! Apart from ice skating, drinking hot apple cider and building my first ever snowman!- I was really looking forward to seeing the window displays in the department store windows.
In Syndey we have a large department store called David Jones which puts a little Christmas story in their front windows each year. For as long as I can remember I have gone with my family to see them. It has become a tradition that I will do with my own children one day.
Yet, when Anthony and I set out one evening in NYC to look at the Christmas window displays, they were in a realm of their own. I loved how much detail had gone into them and the stories each one displayed.
Below are my favourite scenes from some of the varying window displays. Enjoy and hope they put you into the Christmas spirit!
In 2010, Macy’s displayed two different Christmas stories. The first one was Miracle on 34th Street, where they depicted several scenes using animatronic figures from one of my favourite classic films ever.
This was our first window display we went to see and instantly I was looking forward to the rest of the night. I reverted back to my childhood, stood grinning from ear to ear with my breath fogging the glass in front of me.
The second story at Macy’s was Yes Virginia, which was based on an 1987 letter written to the New York Sun about believing in Santa Claus.
This display was quite unique at it was made almost entirely out of paper, cut and folded. The scenes reminded me of an elaborately designed children’s pop up book.
Far from really telling a Christmas story, Bergdorf Goodman depicted scenes of manequins in outlandish dresses surrounded by curious devices. Looking at these window displays, reminded of those hidden picture books, where you can find so much going on in just one image.
The theme for the displays seemed to revolve around travel and discovery. Maps, charts, globes and planets seem to be in every window.
Saks 5th Avenue
Saks holiday theme was Snowflake & Bubbles, where a young girl travels through the various window displays. The displays reminded me very much of Jules Verne’s creations in his famous stories.
Lord & Taylor
In 2010, Lord & Taylor store decorated their windows with holiday memories that were submitted via email from people of NYC. The emails sat above each scene and it was interesting to read how different families celebrate Christmas.
The scenes revolve around a typical New York City block where mechanical doll-sized families are acting out various styles and memories of Christmas from the past century.