There are lots of free Christmas events around Chicago. Our two favorites both involve trains.
We missed the CTA Santa Train this year because of scheduling conflicts. But we did catch the annual train display in the basement... er... "concourse level" of the John Hancock Center.
If you haven't been, go. It's free and it's an excuse to get out of the house. And all the twinkly lights and nooks and crannies filled with surprises are enough to put just about anyone in the Christmas spirit.
You can also think of it as an architecture excursion -- in miniature. Try to pick out all of the local landmarks and businesses represented.