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Macy’s Great Tree

Whether you’re a Chicago native or a recent transplant to the area, there are wonderful local traditions that can be enjoyed and explored by all!

One long standing tradition in Chicago is the Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s) window displays. The tradition began in the 1890’s when retailer Marshall Field transformed the store’s display windows into mini theater sets. During the holidays, the windows were even more spectacular. Soon after, the State Street store became a destination for locals and tourists from far and wide. Along with the window displays, Marshall Field’s, now Macy’s, displays the “Great Tree” inside the store. The Great Tree is 45 feet tall and adorned with 15,000 twinkling lights. Macy’s took over store ownership from Marshall Field’s in 2005, but continues the holiday traditions started so long ago.

There are also wonderful traditions to be found in the suburbs of Chicago.  Aurora, which is located west of downtown Chicago, has a long standing tradition cherished by locals. Lehnertz Avenue residents have created their own tradition in Aurora. The homes on the street are decorated to the hilt with lights and caroling, filled with holiday spirit. 2012 marks the 61st year for this holiday tradition. Geneva, also located west of downtown Chicago, has traditions special for both local residents and tourists. In early December, Geneva hosts their annual Christmas Walk and House Tour. The Christmas Walk begins with Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season, who arrives by horse-drawn carriage and offers Swedish cookies to visitors. The streets of historic Geneva are filled with delightful sights, sounds and smells, such as strolling carolers, chestnuts roasting, fresh candy canes and hot cider. The holiday traditions don’t stop with these towns. Each village has their own holiday magic to explore. From St. Charles to Yorkville, the fun is discovering all the exciting events that take place each year.

From Kramer Tree Specialists, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season filled with delightful traditions.

Leave a comment with your town’s holiday tradition!

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