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Macy’s Gets In Holiday Spirit With Christmas Tree Lighting

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s November 2, and Day of the Dead celebrations are taking place in a number of Chicago neighborhoods. But Macy’s has opened its holiday windows on State Street, and lit its Christmas tree in a noontime ceremony in its 7th floor Walnut Room.

Entertainer Nick Cannon emceed, while American Idol’s Lauren Alaina was among those singing carols. There were plenty of oohs and aahs as the switch was flipped.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said the holiday decorations “look fantastic,” and said, “The store looks great. It’s doing great.” Gov. Pat Quinn said he hoped for strong retail sales this holiday season. But is it too early to take the plunge headlong into the holiday season?

Shoppers were decidedly mixed on the issue.

“(It’s) just a little bit (early),” said Shelly, an Evanston resident who attended the tree lighting ceremony with her mother, father, brother, children and niece. “We’re normally in the after-Thanksgiving crowd.”

A Marina City resident named Mary, who attends the ceremony every year, said she is “not really” ready for the holiday season yet, although she said of Macy’s, “They are here and they certainly got a big crowd.”

An Oak Brook woman named Rosanna said she wasn’t quite ready to surrender to snow yet, or holiday shopping, although she brought her seven-year-old son Enzo, who already knew what he was going to seek from Santa — a flat screen television with Internet Wi-Fi.

Others, such as Susan Portugal of Skokie, said the tree lighting is just what she needed to put her in a holiday mood, but nothing like her husband, Glenn.

“I think they waited too long to put it up this year,” he said. “I love it. It’s the only way to go.”

The Portugals said they would love to see a three-month holiday season.