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Macy's Letters to Santa Campaign and How To Get a Real Response from the North Pole

November 16th, 2012 · No Comments · Children's Charities

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’ve just launced the new store windows. Sadly, this year they’ve decided not to put up the multi-window display they do every year that 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). Instead, they have last year’s “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” display up, which in my opinion is not nearly as nice as the Miracle on 34th Street one.

But Macy’s is still paying homage to the classic movie in many ways this year in a campaign called “Believe”.

Here is their window display this year that promote this campaign. Specifically, this is a window that recreates, in amazing detail, one of the opening scenes from the movie.

miracle on 34th street window display at macys

Amazingly detailed recreation of a scene from Miracle on 34th Street at Macy’s

Here’s a close-up of one of the scenes. Check out every last detail, from the ornaments on the Christmas tree to the clothes the characters are wearing.

miracle on 34th street macys

Detail of Fred Gailey, Doris Walker, and Susan Walker watching the Macy’s Day Parade

From another windows, here’s a close-up of Santa Claus reading letters.

santa claus reading letters

High-tech Santa Claus reading letters on his computer.

This window also introduces people to the “Believe” campaign. Specifically, if you go to 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”, and they promise to send the letters to the US Postal Service. This was a curious choice on the part of their marketing department, as there’s a pretty good chance your child’s letter will go unread after that.

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. So of course, for the vast majority of kids, letters will probably end up in the dead letter office. 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 address your envelope 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).

But bottom line, this is a great and very generous promotion by Macy’s, and a great way to share with your kids about the great things that the Make-A-Wish Foundation are doing and to remind them of how blessed they are, and to share those blessings with those who are in pain and great need.


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