December in Chicago is festive, with lots of beautiful lights and decorations around the city. It is also cold! So bundle up or wear several layers, add a hat and muffler, and have a look around. Perhaps you won’t be as stylish as you normally are, but it’s good to be outdoors to see everything, and it’s more comfortable to do that if you aren’t freezing!
There are so many places to shop in Chicago, it’s hard to decide where to go first. Macy’s (Marshall Field’s) on State Street is a traditional favorite, and the line outside the Walnut Room restaurant on the seventh floor is long. Heard in passing: “The first opening for lunch is at 3:30” (it was 10:45 am). There are large numbers of people waiting to take the elevators, and some are struggling with the five or six shopping bags they are carrying!
Keep walking to see other things besides shops. You see unexpected things if you aren’t in a hurry. A wedding party gathers in front of a Presbyterian church on North Michigan Avenue, accompanied by a man playing the bagpipes. People wait to see the bride and groom, and a cheer rings out when they appear. This is a nice reflection of the general goodwill of the season.
Once the sun sets, the holiday lights take on a magical significance. Simple white lights on the trees lining the Magnificent Mile become prominent. Even at this time of day, there are crowds of people waiting for the traffic lights to change (well, most people wait – some just cross the street whenever they want)!
As you walk (or stroll) on the sidewalks, you can hear random conversations, bell ringers wishing everyone a happy holiday, horns honking, and horse hooves clip-clopping on the side streets alongside taxis and buses. Just keep looking around. You don’t want to miss anything, do you?