People brave the cold to see department store holiday windows.
Saks 5th Avenue unveils its holiday window display today at its flagship store in Manhattan. Other big name department stores, including Macy's Herald Square and Bloomingdales, have already taken the wraps off their displays.
Holiday window displays in New York City are a longstanding tradtion. Christmas Historian Sybil McCormac Groff says department stores started decorating the windows for the holidays as early as the 1860s, with Macy's leading the charge.
"With the rise of consumerism and gas lights, so peole could look at windows at night, the development of Christmas windows took place".
Today, there is a lot of pomp and circumstance when holiday window displays are unveiled. Last week, Bloomingdale's brought out singer Josh Groban to help lift the curtain on their display. Tourists and New Yorkers alike braved the cold to take it all in. Janine Johnston of Delaware says it was worth while.
"Part of the reason is Bloomingdale's opening the windows but also Josh Groban is giving a concert, so that sort of added a little bit to it and I think it's just awesome".
Artist Marian Bantjes worked on the holiday window display at Saks. She says she is not surprised by the fanfare surrounding window unveilings.
"I think there is a kind of a competition between the stores to have a spectacular display".
This year the Saks holiday display features six annimated windows that tell the Yeti Story.