By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The celebration was subdued on Friday, but the results were no less spectacular as the Great Tree was lit at Macy’s on State Street.

A 5-year-old girl named Averie and her sister, Ashlyn, did the honors of lighting the great tree in the Walnut Room. The ceremony was private and part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit for Averie.

The Great Tree, which dates back to the Macy’s State Street store’s beginnings as Marshall Field’s, stands 45 feet tall and hangs from the ceiling rather than being mounted on the floor.

After participating in the private Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Avery and Ashlyn dropped off letters to Santa in the Macy’s Believe Mailbox on the seventh floor. While Santa won’t be at Macy’s in person this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is still accepting letters there – and for every letter to Santa dropped off from now through Christmas Eve, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish to help children fighting critical illnesses’ life-changing wishes come true.

Macy’s has also developed other new ways for customers to give back, including an in-store round-up campaign. Through Sunday, Nov. 15, Macy’s customers can round up their in-store purchases, and donate the change – up to 99 cents – to benefit Make-A-Wish.

The Great Tree opens to the public on Saturday.

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