When it comes to major holidays, Philadelphia may be more associated with Independence Day, but some businesses have created remarkable displays to celebrate the Christmas and holiday spirit.
Macy's Center City, 1300 Market St.
Located in the historic Wanamaker Building, Macy's Center City carries on the tradition of offering the most impressive Christmas window display in Philadelphia. This year's creation, "The Magic of Christmas," celebrates holiday traditions through the ages. The windows were designed by Paul Olszewski, director of windows and visual marketing for Macy's, and Mark Moody, visual manager of Macy's Center City. The fanciful display includes a miniature version of the Christmas Light Show at Macy's. It also includes a preview of Macy's Dickens Village, a tribute to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and a salute to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The windows combine modern technology with marionette-like puppetry and are finished with a vintage tin toy-like effect.
Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Most window displays are static, but for the fifth year, holiday visitors can experience the sights and sounds of the season via the Comcast Holiday Spectacular on a video wall at the Comcast Center. Located in the building's lobby, the wall displays video and music on the largest 4-millimeter LED wall in the world. This year's show begins with the Snowman Symphony and includes scenes from "The Nutcracker" performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet, a snowy sleigh ride, Broadway stars dancing to "Jingle Bell Rock," and music from a 65-piece orchestra.
From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, the Spectacular will run from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (except 5 p.m. on weekdays) every hour on the hour, seven days a week. The show lasts approximately 15 minutes.
Egan Day Jewelry Store, 260 S. 16th St.
In keeping with the holiday tradition, the Egan Day Jewelry Store has created another stunning window, this year featuring a gorgeous white peacock, a birch wood, and sumptuous lights and ornaments. The display was designed by Jeffrey Marcus, JM Visuals, and the inspiration behind it was "glamorous joy." Planning the window began in the summer, since the peacock was custom-made by Evolution in New York City using real feathers.
The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East
A rotating display at the Fifth Street Entrance to The Bourse features several displays: one about the various specialty foods inside; one in blue and silver, highlighting Hanukkah, with a dreidel background and menorahs in the foreground; one with a cut-out of Ben Franklin festooned with holiday bows at his feet, advertising a special Ben Franklin experience; and finally, a display based on "The Nutcracker," to be performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet, including a ballerina image along with shelves of nutcrackers and red and gold balls.
Jonathan Adler, 33 N. 3rd St.
No surprise, the window at Jonathan Adler, which sells home accessories from the famous interior designer, is a feast for the eyes. The window is filled with bold colors: red, navy blue, silver, lime, orange, and cream. On a tiered display are throw pillows, presents with ribbons, and ceramic owls. Around the outer edges of the window are chains made from red and navy linked bands reading "Craft," "Style," and "Joy."
Jewelers' Row, Sansom Street between Seventh and Eighth streets
Each year, the shop owners along Philadelphia's famous Jeweler's Row get into the holiday spirit with festive holiday lights that stretch like banners across the street. From red and green snowflakes to a large white banner reading "Season's Greetings," the lights are a classic holiday Philadelphia scene. The narrow street full of bright lights and the matching lights in the store windows remind passersby every November and December that the gift-giving season is upon us.
Williams-Sonoma, 200 S. Broad St.
The windows for the ultimate kitchen store, Williams-Sonoma, hearken back to classic Christmas style, with one striking window featuring peppermints and cookies in old-fashioned containers displayed on an antique kitchen table against a backdrop of giant peppermint candy canes and licorice candies. In the window box outside, real miniature evergreen trees complete the nostalgic look.
Alyce Wilson is a Philadelphia-area work-at-home mom who writes about people and events in Greater Philadelphia.