Holiday, Seasonal, Travel Notes

Christmas Windows of New York

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Christmas carries such personal traditions for each of us. One of mine is taking place this week — an annual mid-December trip to New York City. It wouldn’t seem like the holidays without this little journey — staying in a comfy hotel with city light views, dining in favorite restaurants and trying out new ones, going  to the Rockettes or a Broadway play, braving the crowds to catch a sight of the tree at Rockefeller Center and lingering in the front of the one at the Metropolitan Museum.


Basking in all the merry bustle, the glitter and the sparkle and the lights (nothing can quite match the huge snowflake suspended above the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street).


But it is the windows that so captivate me! Here is a sampling of this bejeweled theater from the emporiums for which New York is so famous — from Macy’s to Tiffany’s.

Bergdorf Goodman

“Destination Extraordinary,” BG’s 2016 windows are “delirious remakes of the classic dioramas seen in natural history museums,”  showcasing the work of specially commissioned artisans. (In my humble opinion, their last year’s window details, rendered in a total of seven million Swarovski crystals, are proving a hard act to follow).

Photo Credit: Bergdorf Goodman
Photo Credit: Bergdorf Goodman


Photo Credit: Bergdorf Goodman

Saks Fifth Avenue

For those with a sweet tooth…”Land of 1,000 Delights” is a nod to the fantastical imaginary land in the “Nutcracker” story.

Photo Credit: Zach Hilty of for Saks Fifth Avenue
Photo Credit: Zach Hilty of for Saks Fifth Avenue
Photo Credit: Zach Hilty of for Saks Fifth Avenue
Photo Credit: Zach Hilty of for Saks Fifth Avenue
Photo Credit: Zach Hilty of for Saks Fifth Avenue


Always known for their exquisite, small windows  throughout the year which the late Gene Moore began decorating fifty years ago. Who doesn’t remember the iconic movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?”

Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert
Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert
Photo Credit: Tiffany & Co.


And this is the New York store which first introduced decorated windows, way back in the mid-nineteenth century. In 2016, their theme “Believe” explores what Christmas means to a child (a tie-in to Macy’s campaign which raised funds for the Make A Wish Foundation). Santa’s getting ready — and some “asks” on his list are played out in 3-D.

Photo Credit: John Friia
Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Lord & Taylor

Peaceable Kingdoms and Enchanted Forests, Lord & Taylor’s windows capture  a collection of wintry scenes filled with spirited holiday animals.

Photo Credit: John Friia


Always with their singular point of view, laced with humor and creativity. This year, Barney’s perfect-for-photo-opps windows include a charitable angle…for each image posted with a specific hashtag, their New York Foundation will donate $5 to two charities (see link).

Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Since one needs all their strength to “acrobat” their way through Christmas shopping in New York, I’m listing my favorite choices for dining…


BG at Bergdorf’s (7th floor)
The Lowell
The Plaza
Champagne at The Carlyle

MOMA overlooking the garden

The Clock Tower
Le Chat Noir
Polo Bar

Happy window wishing…

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

4 thoughts on “Christmas Windows of New York

    1. This is why I make this pilgrimage every year…to share these visual treasures with you all. Merry, Merry!

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