Sure, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. And, yep, milk and cookies may be waiting near the fireplace. But for many big-city residents across the United States, the surest sign of the holiday season is the unveiling of elaborate Christmas window displays at bustling department stores, a tradition that was launched in 1874 -- 149 years ago -- by none other than R. H. Macy himself, founder of the eponymous chain that today operates 507 stores around the country.
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