If you haven't been before, you should make an effort to go this year. Or even better, make it a family tradition.
Each day (according to Google Analytics), thousands of people from the suburbs read this blog. This is a good year to take the kids into the city for a day of holiday walking around. Look at the trains at the John Hancock Center, then walk down Michigan Avenue and get some popcorn at Garrett's (625 North Michigan Avenue). Next, wander into the Loop to look at the display windows at Macy's on State Street (111 North State Street), swing by Daley Plaza to take in the city's official Christmas tree sharing the plaza with the massive Picasso statue (55 West Randolph Street), then grab some hot chocolate and enjoy the sights in Millennium Park.
The whole thing will cost you less than ten bucks. Do it every year to teach your children the joys of the holidays, and that Christmas spirit doesn't have a big price tag or come from Wal-Mart -- it's just the joy of being with someone you love.
Need tips on getting in, getting out, getting around and things to see for free with your kids? Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to help you out.
Now -- more pictures of the trains. And thanks to everyone who e-mails in their pictures of Christmas in Chicagoland.