When I was a child, the highlight of the holiday season was a visit to Marshall Field in Chicago to see the Christmas windows. Each year, they had a different but entirely wonderful theme that brought the excitement of the season alive for me.
Someone I met recently at a holiday gathering mentioned a similar experience on the Plaza in Kansas City.
For my husband, it was Stix Baer & Fuller in downtown St. Louis. It was a cherished – and slightly wistful – childhood memory for each of us.
So imagine my complete delight to rediscover the tradition in an unexpected place: mid-Missouri.
We were on the way to a company Christmas party at Whittles in downtown Eldon. We turned the corner on to Maple Street and were greeted by a series of decorated windows that swept me back to those innocent days.
It took my breath away. Alone on the street, my husband smiled as I laughed and clapped and danced from store to store to discover new treasures at each stop.
Windows were surrounded by lights and filled with moving carousels and Ferris wheels, trains circling lovely tiny towns, skaters gliding across a pond … each was unique and beautiful and totally wonderful.
One window lovingly re-created Eldon’s downtown of yesteryear, right down to the schoolhouse and movie theater. I didn’t grow up in Eldon, but the window still spoke to me of golden days not that long ago.
Sometimes as you get older, it’s hard to find the special excitement you had as a child leading up to Christmas amid all the bustle and rush of the season.
So treat yourself to a visit to a simpler time still filled with the wonder and exhilaration of your first Christmases. Take the kids, too, and let them create their own memory.
Eldon’s Christmas windows are more than a display – they’re magical.