Are you seeing the delightful TV commercials currently being placed by Macy’s?  A parade of stars from movies and television are being featured in the original settings portrayed by the actors – with scenes from such movies as 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street (starring little Natalie Wood – and the Macy’s store on 34th ).


This brings to mind the great performance of Edmund Gwenn as “Kris Kringle,” the perfect Santa Claus (in my view).  Whenever I watch that movie, that is Santa Claus!  Macy’s is bringing these memorable images to us…yes, to remind us of the holiday shopping season in interesting and appealing ways.  And to spread some good old-fashioned cheer in these increasingly bleak economic times.


Sunday’s New York Times carried a two-page advertisement by Macy’s, on one broadsheet was printed the banner of the old New York Sun, and a reprint of the letter from a little girl – 8 year old Virginia O’Hanlon – to the editors back in September 1897…and the editors’ heart-warming response.


Dear Editor


I am 8 years old.  Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in the Sun, it’s so.”  Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?


The editorial printed in reply – Yes, Virginia  — There is a Santa Claus – became a classic that is revived regularly at Christmas Season.  Virginia, your little friends are wrong.  They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age…. (see the complete letter at:



Macy’s then makes this offer for today’s children:  Write your own letter to Santa Claus…telling Santa why you are one in a million.  (And drop off at Macy’s at a special mailbox for Santa.)


For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 – up to $1 million total in this effort – to the Make A Wish Foundation…to help ailing little children live their wish.


Write your letter to Santa, the retailer says, and help make wishes come true.


What a great holiday season gesture.  Macy’s ad campaign is true to the company’s origins, a very focused effort to remind all of us what a venerable and remarkable retailing institution Macy’s is…as represented by the well-known brand…and making serious attempts to preserve the 150 year old brand promise.  (Contrast that with a now littered field of other well-known brands whose leaders forgot what the brand promise was…what the expectations of their stakeholder base was…including the very familiar brand names on Wall Street and Detroit that come quickly to mind today.)


Well done, Macy’s – your campaign demonstrates your effort to remain an accountable company to all stakeholders.  Thanks for reminding us how much joy shopping for gifts for others at Christmas season can be.  A good example of enlightened self-interest and capturing the best of our capitalist system.