15 of New York City's most famous holiday window displays over the years

15 of New York City's most famous holiday window displays over the years

 

window and shoppersHoliday shoppers in New York City.AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

  • Festive window displays are a classic New York tradition during the holiday season.
  • The tradition is older than you might think holiday windows date all the way back to the 1870s, according to Macy's.
  • Today, people wait in line for hours to see some of New York's best holiday decorations.
  • Keep reading for the history behind department store holiday windows in New York City.

From children sending letters to Santa Claus to selfie-taking snowmen, department store window displays are some of the most festive holiday decorations in all of New York City.

Since the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year to shop, starting with Black Friday, it's no surprise that New York City's department stores bring out all the stops for their seasonal window displays.

Holiday windows that look more like art installations rather than store advertisements date all the way back to the 1870s with Macy's first window displays. Since then, the practice has evolved into a tradition that both tourists and locals love year after year.

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Over time, holiday windows became more elaborate and artistic rather than just advertisements for the store's wares. This display features an interactive mailbox where children could send their letters to Santa.

Over time, holiday windows became more elaborate and artistic rather than just advertisements for the store's wares. This display features an interactive mailbox where children could send their letters to Santa.
A vintage holiday window from Macy's.
Courtesy of Macy's

More modern displays, such as this one from Bloomingdale's in 2013, have cohesive themes. The collection of windows, called "All Wrapped Up in Bloomingdale's," featured the store's classic brown bags all over the globe, including New York City ...

More modern displays, such as this one from Bloomingdale's in 2013, have cohesive themes. The collection of windows, called
"Bundles of joy from the Big Apple!"
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

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