The day after Thanksgiving, my roommate got a job working as a personal assistant for one of the biggest celebrities in the western world. This job has skyrocketed careers into stardom (David Sedaris, Zooey Deschanel). I was really excited for her. But it was also hard not to be jealous.
This week my other roommate April and I got a special invite for an exclusive photo shoot. Monday morning at the illusive headquarters, this was a serious perk of knowing someone in the biz! We careful coordinated our outfits and gleefully set off for our super star appointment.
Macy’s Santaland 2013
It was everything we dreamed and more. With lights flashing everywhere and none stop world class performances, it was a truly magical place to visit. Can you imagine working in such an environment? My roommate is so lucky!
Before our photo shoot, we met some of our roommate’s co-workers. She works with some truly amazing stars.
Meet the Elves!
Here’s Spritz! Spritz is a resident reindeer expert. She is pictured here with replica reindeer of course, as Dasher, Dancer, and the rest are all intensely training this month. With exercise program designed by Spritz herself, this is the elf who gets the fab nine into shape for the big night!
Say hello to Squeak! Squeak is, of course, head of the Squeak Toy Devision. Catering to the critical under two market, she tests any and all toys that make noise when you squeeze them. Unknown to many, she carefully creates the sound frequencies of each squeak.
Look at you, Dewdrop! At the NYC headquarters, Dewdrop holds the crucial role as gatekeeper of the North Pole Village. She vets everyone who makes it to the Big Man. For the rest of the year, she gives tours of the workshop to local residents (mostly polar bears and seals), keeping the best of community relations.
Meet Brownie! Brownie is the one who brought us to our roommate! She eats nothing but different kinds of brownies!
Next thing we knew, we were sitting on the lap of my roommate’s boss, SANTA CLAUS! THE ONE AND ONLY!
Yes, my roommate has become an elf for the month. It’s very complicated and she signed a contract to not speak publicly about the transformation, so I don’t even know the full details. She goes by Silver Bell. She eats gumdrops for breakfast. She’s the one who brings Santa his cocoa. Now you see why I’m so jealous!
You can get your own “exclusive photo shoot” just like I did! Macy’s Santaland is located on the 8th Floor at Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street. It is absolutely free to visit Santa and even free to take pictures if you bring your own camera! They are available for purchase as well.
TIPS FOR VISITING MACY’S SANTALAND
- Be late to work today! Weekdays are much less crowded than weekends. If you can manage a Monday-Friday visit, that’s the best. There was hardly any line when we went at 9:30AM on Monday morning.
- Relish the wait! The wait part of the experience. There are so many things to look at and adorable details along the way to enjoy!
- Stay Positive! Remember your kids pick up your energy. If you’re stressed out and frustrated by the long wait on a Saturday, they will be too.
- Get creative! Play games in line! Sure, you could just plug your kids into an iPad game, but what about a more classic game of iSpy? You’ll never find a better environment for it! How about having everyone in your party list reasons they belong on the Nice List?
- Don’t take it too seriously! If your kid won’t stop crying at the crucial moment, take a deep breath. A less than perfect picture is not the end of the world. Laughing about this, rather than getting upset, will make the experience so much better for you, Santa, and most importantly the child. Crying pictures can be hilarious!
- Make it fun! Ask the elves questions! They’re not just there to keep the line moving, most of them have a blast interacting with visitors. Elevate the magic for your children and they’ll take it farther than you can imagine!
The closer you go to Christmas, the busier it gets, so if you want to avoid crowds, head to Santaland ASAP!
It is truly a magical place, even visiting as an adult (I mean “tall kid”, that’s what elves call you). Santa is sweet as pie. He truly takes special time with everyone who sits with him. Silver Bell has come home many night with touching stories about the wonder, kindness, and humanity that he embodies.
When was the last time you saw Santa? Did you look forward to visits as a child or get scared? Ever been to Macy’s Santaland?
more info about visiting Santa at Macy’s: