I'm a sucker for this time of year. As I write this, I have just come back from the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre in midtown Manhattan. Okay, so it meant fighting with about 100,000 people even to get a glimpse of the giant tree - glowing with 30,000 decorative lights - but I wouldn't miss the official beginning of the New York holiday season for the world. Before the month is out, I'll also go through the discomfort of queuing up for hours to make a fool of myself on the small ice-skating rink at the foot of the tree; and I'll wait in line to get into one of the most famous toy shops in the world, FAO Schwarz, near Central Park. As an outsider here, I get a sense of participation and belonging from all of this. But perhaps my favourite part of New York at this time of year is the window shopping, and by that I mean looking at the amazing window displays set up by the major department stores. As a tourist attraction, New York's holiday window displays are always splendid. But the traditional ones - the animated figures and mechanical delights often straight out of a Christmas tale or a Disney movie - have been displaced in some windows by more artistic offerings. Top artists have been invited to display their works in the windows, producing everything from sculptures to installations, though there is often a promotional or marketing edge. In the window of Hermes, on Madison Avenue, the Azerbaijan-born artist Aga Ousseinov's sculpture of plastic and paper heads is decorated with high-end ties and bags. At the Louis Vuitton shop on Fifth Avenue, Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson's mirrors and lights form massive eye pupils in each window. The viewers' own pupils may pop out of their heads when they see that, for a mere US$33,330, they could take one home. The money will go to charity. My favourite is the 'Happy Andy Warhol-idays!' display in the Barneys store. In four windows, artists retrace the pop art guru's steps from the 1950s to the 1980s, with Warhol's signature Campbell's soup cans, stilettos and telephone collections. In a fifth window, the images are almost more eccentric than Warhol ever was. Twenty-five portraits by children of the East Harlem School show Warhol as everything from a guy in a Santa hat with a half-red-half-green face - to Warhol the rabbit-like-guy, with carrot leaves as hair. Perhaps nobody combined commerce and art better than Warhol. His quote, 'Wasting money puts you in a real party mood', hangs in the window. But all this seems almost irrelevant compared with words from John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. In a full-page advert in The New York Times ahead of Friday's anniversary of the ex-Beatle's tragic death at the hands of a gunman, she asks for forgiveness and healing in a world of suffering. 'Let's heal the wounds together,' she says.