22 Mesmerizing Historical Photos of Christmas in New York City

There’s nowhere quite as magical as New York City at Christmas time, that is as true today as it was 100 years ago. Check out how people through history celebrated the holidays in NYC.

Take a look through 22 pictures of a New York City of a bygone age. No doubt we’ve come a long way, see for yourself! Merry Christmas!

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 1964

Wow… people knew how to dress back then!

Image via Library of Congress
Christmas Tree in Washington Square Park in the 1950s

Looks so beautiful covered in snow!

Image via Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Times Square on December 26, 1947

It looks SO different!

Image via New York Historical Society
Macy’s in “Christmas shopping” season, December 1942

Thank god Black Friday didn’t exist back then

Rockefeller Christmas Tree in 1940

…how many Instagrams have you seen from this angle?

Image via New York Historical Society
New York Public Library in the 1940s

aww, they were trying to keep the lions warm!

Image via New York Public Library
Macy’s Christmas Shoppers in 1948

It’s all so civilized!

The Rockefeller Center Rink in 1936

So different …but familiar at the same time.

Image via Patina Restaurant Group
Rockefeller Center in 1931

This is the first ever Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Image via New York Historical Society
Christmas Window Displays in the 20s

Window shopping was just as much a holiday activity as it is today.

Image via Library of Congress
Union Square between 1910 and 1915.

So pretty.

Image via Library of Congress
Central Park in the 1910s

This is what it looks like when the internet and video game consoles didn’t exist.

Image via Library of Congress
Christmas tree at Madison Square Park in the 1910s

All those ropes… looks like the just caught it.

Image via Library of Congress
5th Avenue at 42nd Street, between in the 1910s

All those Christmas Shoppers, somethings never change.

Image via Library of Congress
The Mall in Central Park in the 1910s

This is 100 years old and looks like it could have been taken a week ago!

Image via Library of Congress
Macy’s between 1908 and 1917

Holiday windows have come a long way

Image via Library of Congress
Central Park in 1914

These kids sledding are making us a little jealous

Image via Library of Congress
NYC December 1903

So this is what a Christmas tree lot USED to look like.

Image via Library of Congress
Rockafeller Center in the 1950s.

We’ve gotten a LOT better at decorating the tree.

Image via Rockefeller Center
Rockafeller Center in 1933

This is the first ever tree lighting ceremony at the Rock.

Image via Rockefeller Center
New York Public Library, 1981

The Lion at The New York Public Library looked dapper in the 80s

Image via New York Public Library
Rockafeller Center in 1981

So beautiful!

Image via Rainer Halama

Featured image source [Rockefeller Center]