December 21st, 2023
Celebrating Christmas Through Our Windows
As a young boy growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania, I can vividly remember my parents walking us kids down main street in Ellwood City so that we could view the various Christmas decorations set up in the storefronts of the different merchants located downtown. My favorite was the corner window at JC Penney that faced the traffic coming down the sidewalk. I can still see, in my mind, the animated “Frosty the Snowman” that stood inside that window every Christmas. He would dance, melt, and then re-inflate. We never passed that store without going inside. I guess you can say that even from that early age I was really drawn into the business of windows!
Everyone appreciates the role that windows play daily as they provide us with the means to see the world outside our homes and businesses while enjoying the comforts of our indoor environment. But during the holiday season especially, we get to appreciate the other valuable role that windows provide. They also allow a view from the outside in, giving others a chance to gaze inside our world as we put on full display our individual expressions of what the holiday season means to each of us. Indeed, windows allow us to show off!
Secret NYC ranks the Christmas window displays this year in NYC with Saks Fifth Avenue taking the top spot. This year’s Saks FA windows tell the story of Monsieur Dior’s journey from Paris to NYC, featuring symbolic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Brooklyn Bridge. This window display is really quite impressive and if you happen to be in the area, you can see this great window display until January 5th.
My vote, however, goes to the Times Square’s Raising Cane’s window display. It has really hit home for me this year in their front windows because they are featuring their Golden Retriever mascot, Cane. I am seriously a dog person, so this is why I favor this window display! They also feature Santa’s ornaments, snowmen, and marching bands too. It’s really cool!
Ok, so these are famous examples of perhaps the best holiday window displays, but not everyone is going to take a trip to NYC to see them. Even though you can Google these and see photos on- line, the real way to experience the beauty of Christmas framed within a window is simply to take a walk or a drive through your neighborhood in the early evening hours to see what is on display in the windows of your own neighborhood. This is truly what it is all about. It’s about experiencing the meaning of Christmas as displayed by the homeowners and business owners in your own community as they express what Christmas means to them in their front windows or storefronts.
When we were thinking about a spot to place our Christmas tree, the first thought that came to mind was to place it near the front window so that neighbors and passerby could see our beautiful tree through our window. This immediately made me ponder about a very meaningful purpose that windows have in this world, and one that cannot be measured on an NFRC label. This is the property of windows to serve as a conduit for sharing our cultural and religious beliefs with our neighbors and community through visual expression.
Now that is something that doesn’t show up on any form of window rating or labelling system. Sure, we have a rating system for visible light transmission, but this is something that is perhaps much more meaningful, especially during the holiday season. Perhaps one could call it “visible self-expression transmission” and it enables us to celebrate Christmas through our windows.
Merry Christmas everyone!