In Chicago, as wherever Christmas is celebrated, holiday traditions reflect both universal themes and local color, both the spirit of giving and snow-covered State Street. In 1913, Chicago decorated its first civic Christmas tree, while many others arrived on the fabled "Christmas tree ships" of the era. Holiday shoppers crowded the sidewalks in front of stores such as Marshall Field & Company, Santa Claus held the rapt gaze of children, and churches and charities reached out to the needy.
So Christmas was then, and so it has remained. Historic Photos of Christmas in Chicago offers nearly 200 images of the Christmas season in the Windy City, from festive outdoor celebrations to intimate family gatherings. Culled from the archives of the Chicago History Museum, these images depict the city through the years during its annual celebration of this very special holiday, and so provide a chance to look back in time while reflecting on the meaning of Christmas today.