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IS THERE ANYTHING MORE DELIGHTFUL at Christmas than the sight of lights bringing beauty and excitement to homes, restaurants, city parks and public Christmas trees, parading yachts on luxury waterways, and buildings big and small, just about everywhere? 


Who doesn’t get into their car and drive around the neighborhood to see who’s done what to make their home merrier, happier, more glittery for the holidays.  As far away as Japan, where Christians are in a decided minority, lights are everywhere, because the Japanese have fallen in love with the look of a western Christmas.  And why not?


  • What a better way for customers to bundle up for a Christmas ride around their neighborhood than with winter hats that are fashionable and practical.  Trimmed in faux mink that is remarkably real looking, this is an ideal way for them to stay cozy while enjoying the holiday sights.  If they’re planning on going caroling, they might want an even warmer outfit, with hat, scarf and gloves in handsome, warm fleece available in a collection of appealing winter colors.

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Some of the most thrilling Christmas visions are store windows, where artisans have created winter wonderlands for all to see.  Perhaps the best known, of all, is Macy’s New York (although the stores’ windows across the country, from Boston to San Francisco are all aglitter).  The basic theme of Macy’s this year is “Believing, and the magic behind the scenes.”  Many of its windows are even interactive!  It’s a fabulous sight to behold, these moving, transforming, brilliant window displays as they express the magical hopes and fantasies of us all. 


                                    ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS BELIEVE


INSIDE THE STORE, Macy’s has continued the spectacular, with the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, playing for all to see, underwriting the Christmas statement that Miracles Do Happen!  At the same time, Macy’s 13,000 square foot Santaland Christmas Village attracts visitors from around the world, this year as in the past, with Santa royally present, as always, since his arrival with the spectacular Thanksgiving Day parade.


On a more sophisticated note are Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows, ablaze with crystallized Swarovski Elements.  Themed to “Love at First Sight,” this year’s windows are breathtaking glamour, with “diamond dust” sprinkled on huge red hearts and wardrobe sensationals from a bevy of designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Zac Posen.  Oh…it is enough to excite wardrobe fantasies in anyone!   


  • You can get in on the crystal look this Christmas with the ever popular crystal tennis bracelets that everyone loves.  Or, choose a wide, cuff-like bracelet of Austrian crystal in a cut-out floral design.  If you are into retro Christmases, an art deco crystal bracelet will be just right for you, like a stunning black and clear stretch bracelet that is just over 5″ wide and fits almost any wrist.


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Bloomingdale’s New York takes a more family-oriented approach to Christmas, with the theme of Home, Hearth and Winter Sports.  The store dips back to the 1950s for a strictly retro look at Christmas Past, complete with a yesteryear family gathered around a charming Christmas tree, children unwrapping gifts, and Tony Bennett crooning on the record player. 


                                        CRYSTAL PALACE WONDERS


Bergdorf Goodman takes an earthly route to Christmas marvels, with dreamlike scenes from all four seasons in its “Calendar Girls” holiday windows theme.  The whole garden panorama is replete with crystal palace make-believe wonders, including creamy white birds and butterflies, winter white branches and golden trees, artsy blossoms, worms and waterfalls, dragonflies, turtles and lagoons, even overhead dangling jewelry…what a  breathtaking display!     


But…what about the windows of fashion emporiums abroad?  These are no less incredible, dramatic, and creative.  Harrods in London features the inimitable James Bond via a “Quantum of Solace” theme, with such wild window props as the Sunseeker speedboat and the classy Aston Martin driven by 007 superstar, Daniel Craig.  Let’s not miss the Prada dress worn by Olga Kurylenko – that’s here, too! 


  • Since gemstones are always high on the moneyed set’s list, choose a gorgeous olive-hued serpentine necklace certain to entrance the James Bond aficionados among you. The necklace also features silver seed beads and clear faceted crystals. Double the glamour with matching earrings.  For evening drama, consider a deep, dark 3-strand Indian agate necklace with matching earrings.  Dramatic!


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In the City of Light, Nina Ricci’s flagship store is a barrage of mirrors cut and folded like origami sculptures.  In Milan, mirrors likewise reflect glittery Christmas images at Prada’s flagship store.  And, back in London, a Harvey Nicholas Christmas is shining with stunning reflections as geometric prisms cast color and light on designer holiday fashions.


IT IS ALL JUST WONDERFUL!  It is fun!  It is Christmas!  At Selfridges in London, Santa is an entertaining spectacle, trying to descend a chimney after drinking too much Christmas grog.  At Barneys New York, yesterday’s counterculture lives again in a happy hippie holiday complete with a one-way Magic Ride to Psychedelicsville.  All across the nation and the world, this is the season for light.  For imagination.  For hope.


Macy’s is asking everyone to write a letter to Santa and deposit it in Santa’s mailbox in the store.  It’s all part of that wonderful Christmas “Believe” campaign.  Well, of course we are too old to really believe, but…maybe…it’s worth a try.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

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