Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Windows: Bloomingdale's

The holiday theme at Bloomingdale's this year is "The World Celebrates," about different Christmas traditions around the world. Except it's a little, well, Eurocentric. Each window is a papier-mâché display of Christmas legends in Ireland, Greece, Sweden, Italy with a two-sentence blurb about what you're looking at. In Italy, your presents come courtesy of La Befana: The Magi invited her to come on their journey to receive the Christ child, but she was too busy cleaning her house and declined. Now, racked with guilt, she delivers gifts to all good boys and girls throughout Italy, apparently relieving some of the burden from Santa. In Russia, they tell children the story of Grandfather Frost, who made a girl out of snow for a childless couple.

It's too bad the Bloomingdale's people used up all these stories in a single year, because they could've milked them for a couple of Christmases. The La Befana story and Grandfather Frost could both merit a whole series of windows, instead of the diffuse two-sentence treatment they got, pandering to the parochial, attention span-deprived demographic. They had some windows explaining the holiday traditions here in America, in case you're not familiar with Santa Claus. And did you know that there's this holiday called Chanukah? I didn't. Thank you, Bloomingdale's, for educating me!