By Jason DeRusha

The Christmas display at Dayton’s Marshall Field’s Macy’s is a Minnesota tradition. This will be the 49th year that Minnesotans wait in the elevators at the flagship store on Nicollet Mall, and head up to the eighth-floor auditorium.

The display is part of the magic of Christmas. Our 10 p.m. executive producer Matt Liddy was talking today about remembering waiting in line with his family when he was a kid, sweating in his snow suit, waiting to see what the Dayton’s elves dreamed up.

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The elves don’t to use much imagination today. Paula Moscatelli from Blaine emailed a Good Question yesterday, asking “Why is Macy’s not changing their 8th floor display at Christmas? It has been A Day In The Life of An Elf for years?”

Kamal Bosamia, a Media Relations Manager for Macy’s in Chicago, confirmed that indeed, this year will be the fourth year of the Elf display. When it debuted in 2008, the Star Tribune was cheering for it, pointing out “the last time the show had a ‘fresh’ theme, it worked out pretty well.” Dayton’s Santa Bear became a huge deal after that exhibit debuted in 1986.

The first display was in 1963; “Santa’s Enchanted Forest,” it was called. There’s been a “The Wizard of Oz” show in 1994 and “Nutcracker” in 2007.

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Here’s my then 2-year-old son Seth mesmerized by the “Nutcracker” display in 2007:

Seth: Mesmerized by the display

So why are they doing the same show again? I’m still waiting for the official answer from the company, but clearly cost is a concern. Building a new show every year can’t be cheap, and Macy’s doesn’t have to pay a licensing fee like they did for the shows based on other shows, like “The Wizard of Oz” or “Nutcracker.”

But what do you think about it? Do you miss the rotating shows? Does it hurt Macy’s image to repeat? What was your favorite display as a kid?

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Share thoughts in the comments, and if you have pictures of you in the display, email them to me and I’ll use them in the 10 p.m. news tonight!

Jason DeRusha