While living in the suburbs, Christmas time meant a lot of wreaths, garland and trees. Bigger houses mean stair rails to decorate, front and side doors, and 7-10 ft Christmas trees. In the city of Chicago, the lights and sounds of Christmas are everywhere, but are often more unique. You don’t need the big decorations in your home because they are all around you, so I traded my big tree for a “pencil” tree which fits perfectly in my small space. A mini festive home and the sights of Chicago are more than enough to fill anyone’s need for holiday cheer.
In Chicago, there’s the obvious – the brightly lit Magnificent “Mag” mile of shops along Michigan Ave, the Chriskrindle Market at Daley Plaza, and the dressed windows on Macy’s on State St. For a fun treat, make reservations at the Walnut Room in Macy’s – it’s been around for over 100 years and at Christmas time a huge tree is its center piece. However, for anyone who visits or lives in Chicago during the holidays, all should just stroll through any neighborhood and downtown and look around. The tower at St. Micheal’s in Old Town has red and green lit clock faces, random condo railings light up the sky, the top of the Hancock building and many others glow with red and green, and if you really want to smile, catch the Santa’s Holiday Express L train. This 20+ year annual tradition provides a brightly decorated train throughout Nov-Dec, providing a time for families and harried downtown workers to mingle. I was just on my way home from work in the Loop and along it came to the platform – lights and music and smiles. As most regular commuters snapped pics, babies in strollers, mothers and fathers in holiday garb, and grandmas and grandpas swarmed the platform to jump on board. My short trip home was filled with kid’s happy faces bringing many nostalgic holiday memories. If you enjoy great shopping, food, lights, and people, Chicago is a great place to be during the holidays!