Christmas Displays in Dept. Stores

I remember when I was a kid my sister & I (with our parents of course) went over to Oakland CA to see the animated displays in the store windows for Christmas. I realize that no one can go safely into Oakland much anymore, but where you live, do the the big department stores still have these displays? Can one go their safely? Are they worth the tirp?
Merry Christmas, John

Moving to IMHO from GQ.

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I can’t vouch for “where I live”, because I live in a tiny town with no major department stores.

But I did just get back from a week in Chicago, and Macy’s had a beautiful animated display. I’ve rarely visited cities during the holidays, so this was unexpected and fun to see. Big thumbs up to fancy animated Christmas displays!

Our local mall seems to have cut back noticeably on the decorations this year. Our daughter really wanted to see Santa, so we went the other night and I almost walked right past him. Whereas in years past there would be a tree up to the ceiling and all sorts of animatronics and such around it, this year the tree was barely taller than the one in my family room and there were a few large presents around it and that was it.

Really? What on Earth is going on in Oakland?


I’m from Chicago and I used to love to go to Fields, I haven’t done that in awhile. Doesn’t seem like department stores put much effort into it anymore. All the displays seem pretty generic to me

I believe Dayton’s/Fields/Macy’s/whatever in downtown Minneapolis still does Christmas displays. They decorate the windows and also have a big display on one of their upper floors. Most people see them when they watch the Holidazzle parade. That is worth seeing, IMO, especially if the weather is not horribly cold. My daughter and nieces and nephews have always enjoyed it.

The downtown department stores that remain usually have impressive Christmas displays; often unchanged for decades, even though the store is under different ownership. Downtowns of most major American cities are going to be quite safe, with a few exceptions.

Lord & Taylor in the Wanamaker Building still does the Christmas light show.

Every year Macy’s in San Francisco has truly animated holiday windows, in that they are filled with homeless dogs and cats from the SPCA.

Several stores in San Francisco have nice windows, but the best stuff is in the lobbies of hotels around Union Square. One has a giant gingerbread house, another, last year at least, had a large collection of mechanical toys. We’re going in this year after Christmas.

Broadway in Oakland is not bad (we frequently go to the Paramount for movies) but there aren’t any department stores left there except for one Sears.

Well I’m a tad lucky in that London truly has the cream of the crop - from the modern take at ‘Selfridge’s’ to the 70’s retro at ‘Liberty’s’ andf last but not least the Wizard of Oz at ‘Harrod’s’…the facade which is normally lit up at night by thousands of white lightbulbs is now lit up in green and one of the windows has a gigantic pair of legs with ruby-red slippers sticking out (easily 18ft high slippers)…