Every holiday season, stores on New York City's Fifth Avenue are an essential part of the city's holiday experience with their elaborate window displays. This year they celebrate the city's resilience after a rough 2020.
One of the most-visited destinations this time of year is the Macy's display. The moving windows tell the story of a reindeer who dreams of joining Santa's sleigh team to deliver magic around the world on Christmas Eve. For some visitors, it's a sign of hope as this year's displays glisten a bit more and shine a bit brighter.
"This is so well-needed," Antoinette Gangi said. "I'm a Jersey girl and I'll come here every single Christmas for the rest of my life. I think it's so magical and so well-needed right now."
Luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman also creates a temporary art exhibit each year for locals and visitors to get a glimpse of the extravaganza. This year's window displays celebrate what Berdorf calls "the present moment."
However, it's not just window displays in New York City. You can also find installations like a life-size Christmas teddy bear or a taxi completely covered in colorful lights.
The sparkling Saks Fifth Avenue windows send a message for families to reconnect this holiday season after the pandemic kept so many apart. The design team at Saks asked New York City children to draw their dream holiday, and the windows re-create those illustrations.
"It's just so exciting and magical," Gangi said. "It makes you be a child again. You can see the happiness on everyone's face."
The main event emerges at night with hundreds of people lining up on Fifth Avenue to see a dazzling annual light show. It features 700,000 twinkling LED lights spanned across the building's 10-story facade.
The spirit of Christmas is visible on every corner, and the goal for many of these stores is to spread cheer in the chaos of Manhattan.