Field's Uncle Mistletoe still celebrating holidays

Northwest Side couple decorates home
December 19, 2007 3:48:28 PM PST
For many people who grew up in Chicago, Christmas wasn't Christmas without a trip to the old Marshall Field's store on State Street. That's the case for a Northwest Side couple who turned their home into a stroll through Christmas past, Marshall Field-style.

Their Northwest Side home doesn't look like the old store, but inside there's no mistaking it. Every Christmas Annette and Bob Ledermann turn their home into the Field's on State Street with ornaments and a great tree- in the Walnut Room.

"Robert, just put this one right up there in the middle," said Annette, giving instructions as they transform their home into holiday memories from long ago.

"Going downtown, seeing the tree, bundling up with boots and gloves. Going from window to window. And if we were really good we'd end up eating under the walnut tree, ah, the Great Tree in the Walnut room," said Annette Lederman, collector of Field's Christmas memorabilia.

The Ledermanns have spent years filling their home with what used to fill Marshall Field's Christmas windows and the Walnut Room. Many of the items were heading for the dumpster when Bob stepped in.

"Well, they were ready to toss some of this stuff away and I was there to pick them up. I was there to get them and they gave them to me," said Robert Ledermann, collector of Field's Christmas memorabilia.

"They used to have a theme every year at Christmas and then they would just discard it," said Annette.

Aunt Holly and Uncle Mistletoe are the Ledermann's favorites. They are everywhere along with thousands of other ornaments. Uncle Mistletoe was always in the State Street windows and on top of the tree in the Walnut Room. He was Field's symbol of State Street Christmas.

"He was created in 1946," said Robert. "Aunt Holly came in 1948. He was a character that Marshall Field's created for selling merchandise and he became a beloved character throughout the years."

It's still not known if Uncle Mistletoe and Aunt Holly were married.

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