Window tourism is, after all, is a time-honored New York holiday tradition. According to NYC & Company, the city’s destination marketing organization, 30 percent of last years total visitation took place in the fourth quarter of the year; more than in any other season; typically five million visitors come to the city between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve alone.

After many years of watching morning TV and saying I would love to go to New York to see the store windows at Christmas, we finally made it. And it was all I thought it would be. It would be hard to describe the windows so I have lifted the descriptions from the store’s websites.

Macy’s Windows
Macy’s holiday windows, celebrate the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 3D scenes recreating six key moments from Charles Schultz’s indelible cartoon classic. The gang’s all here: angst Charlie Brown, bossy Lucy, deceptively deep Linus, musical Schroeder, indefatigable Snoopy and more. As passersby gazed at the characters in delightful installations filled with moving parts, music and interactive features, nostalgia was in the air.

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Saks Fifth Ave.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows, depicting six frosty wonders of the world.
Saks spared no expense to make sure its holiday display, Winter Palace, dazzled. Its six central windows depict six icy wonders of the world (a frozen Taj Mahal, a cold Colosseum), with the seventh being the enormous Winter Palace erected in lights above them on the store’s Fifth Avenue façade. This is the first time Saks Fifth Avenue has done a light show, “The Winter Palace.” The enchanting light show involves more than 225,000 individual points of controlled light. It took more than 10,000 hours to produce, and more than 250 individuals internationally and domestically helped create it.

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Bergdorf Goodman
A two-word sign so discreet you might miss it outshone crystallized suits of armor, a fortune teller’s lair and a life-size King Neptune dripping in pearls that make up Bergdorf Goodman’s new holiday windows. In a tiny lit window, it stands beside a black-and-white picture of the Eiffel Tower. The theme of Bergdorf’s annual window display on Fifth Ave. is “Brilliant Holiday.” The opulent eye candy incorporates millions of Swarovski crystals. The design team worked with Swarovski to hand-set more than seven million crystals in its tableaus — about 70 times as many as bedazzled the most recent Oscars ceremony. The windows are Swarovski’s biggest collaboration ever: fantastical scenes in which a monkey fortune teller gazes into a crystal ball and a faux-pearl-studded Poseidon presides over the sea.

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