Every day on my commute home through Manhattan I pass by the Macy’s on 34th Street. This time of year is always fun, because they’re in the process of decorating the store windows. Each year they have one elaborate display, while another display always recreates scenes from the classic Miracle on 34th Street (the original version from 1947 with Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara, not the horrific remake of the 2000s). As I passed by the window today, they had this sign telling the world that they’re busy putting the scenes together.
For those of you who can’t make it to New York, once the scene goes up I’ll try to take a video with my iPhone so you can see for yourself.
[SPOILER ALERT] Of course everyone’s favorite scene is where the United States Postal Service (a branch of the Federal Government) comes and dumps bags of mail on the judge’s desk, declaring Kris Kringle to be the one and only Santa Claus.
One thing very cool that Macy’s is doing this year is a campaign called “Believe”. If you go to www.macys.com/believe with your kids, you’ll be able to write a letter to Santa Claus and even decorate it with little Christmas-themed icons. Then, you can print it out, put it in a stamped envelope and bring it to your local Macy’s where you can put it in a special mailbox. For every letter put in the mailbox, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-a-Wish Foundation, up to $1,000,000.
Macy’s has kicked off the campaign with a great video that pays homage to the classic film, and inserts Macy’s celebrity partners Martha Stewart, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, Carlos Santana, and Tommy Hilfiger interacting with the late, great Edmund Gwenn through the magic of computer generated imagery.
If you’ll be doing some shopping at Macy’s this Christmas, this is a great way to have a little fun with your kids and help a great cause.
It’s interesting that Macy’s decided to instruct parents and kids to address their envelopes to “SANTA CLAUS – THE NORTH POLE”. The US Postal Service does have a cool program called Operation Santa or the Letters to Santa Program where letters that “express serious need” are read by volunteers who help fulfill the needs. But volunteers of that program are very selective about whom to help; in other words, Billy whose family is living without heat or food might get the football he wants, but Charles who wants a new Wii U because he’s bored of his Xbox 360 might not. But of course, for the vast majority of kids, letters will probably end up in the dead letter office, despite what the movie says unfortunately. So be prepared to read your child’s letter before you seal it up and fulfill whatever wish he or she has.
There are a couple other ways you can get a “real” reply from Santa. If you write to 1 Santa Claus Land, North Pole, AK 99705, you may get a response with a North Pole, AK postmark if you write early enough. Some wonderful volunteers in the actual town of North Pole, Alaska actually do respond to some letters, but they get so many letters it’s hard to say if yours will actually be answered.
If you want to guarantee a “response from Santa”, you can also purchase a letter from Santa Claus House in North Pole Alaska.
A more economical way to guarantee a response from Santa” is to write a letter from Santa addressed to your child and mail it in a separate envelope to the Postal Service before December 10. All of your Christmas cards will come with a North Pole postmark. The service is provided at no cost (well, other than your tax dollars).