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Herald Square Holiday Windows

December 7, 2015 | Special Event | Keri Hanson
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Macy's Holiday Windows

This holiday season, the PEANUTS® gang will take a bow on Broadway at Macy’s Herald Square in celebration of the golden anniversary of the classic holiday animated special “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Sure to delight generations of fans who have grown up with the beloved PEANUTS gang and their stories, the iconic characters will be showcased in each of the six Broadway windows throughout the holiday season. Titled Macy’s Presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” this year’s seasonal spectacular traces the well-loved tale of the holiday adventures of Charlie Brown, Linus and the rest of the PEANUTS gang.

Macy's Holiday Windows

Created by Roya Sullivan, award-winning designer and Macy’s National Director of Window Presentation, Macy’s 2015 Christmas windows combine the wonder of modern technology with stunning visual elements and an extra dose of nostalgia. Following Charlie Brown’s heartfelt quest to discover the true meaning of Christmas, the six Broadway windows will feature key scenes from the cherished animated classic which debuted fifty years ago this year. Each of the windows will be topped by a larger-than-life version of six Peanuts characters peering out over Broadway Plaza and none other than Woodstock himself, ever the barer of glad tidings, takes center stage, perched high above the marquee entrance above a replica of Charlie Brown’s iconic Christmas tree. In addition, spectators will be treated to a highly interactive experience as they watch the story unfold from window to window.

According to Sullivan, “This year’s Christmas windows celebrate Charles Schulz’s 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where we tap into our own inner-child remembering the adventures of our favorite PEANUTS characters. We are proud to have maintained the integrity of the original animated television special while also acknowledging today's tech-savvy child with the addition of highly technological and interactive elements. This unconventional marriage of animatronics and interactive elements, combined with old school artistry and craftsmanship, forms a truly unique marriage between the past and the present.”

Macy's Holiday Windows

“The iconic Macy’s Christmas windows are the perfect home for Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang this holiday season, as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’” said Jean Schulz, wife of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, “The endearing moments from the special, which has become a holiday tradition for millions of people, will charm New Yorkers and visitors in a brand new way this year through the artistry of the windows.”

Below is a brief description of each of the six windows, along with the accompanying narrative that is told as visitors move from window to window:


Window 1

Christmas time is here,

Happiness and cheer,

Fun for all that children call

Their favorite time of year.

Charlie Brown: I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess.

I might be getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that.

Macy's Holiday Windows

The first window finds our hero and his trusty sidekick, Linus, at their familiar gathering place at the wall pondering the meaning of Christmas. In the background, the rest of the PEANUTS gang is visible playing in the snow, the winter wonderland accented by hundreds of twinkling lights. The window itself sets the stage for what’s to come as the scene within is “framed” by a classic television set. Stepping away from the window even further, visitors will notice that the image of Charlie Brown’s iconic t-shirt is visible from a distance.


Window 2

Sleighbells in the air,

Beauty everywhere;

Yuletide by the fireside

And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here, Christmas time is here…

Charlie Brown: Actually, Lucy, my trouble is Christmas.

I just don’t understand it. Instead of feeling happy, I feel sort of let down.

Lucy: You need involvement. You need to get involved in some real Christmas project. How would you like to be the director of our Christmas play?

Macy's Holiday Windows 

Disenchanted, Charlie Brown pays a visit to everyone’s favorite busybody, Lucy, and is relieved to find that “the Doctor is in.” As always, Lucy is only too eager to dispense her words of wisdom and convinces Charlie Brown to serve as director in the annual Christmas play to elevate his spirits. During this psychiatric session, the snow continues to fall as Snoopy elegantly skates past. Pigpen is also occupied building an appropriately dusty snowman. At this window, passersby are also able to benefit from Lucy’s wise words during the accompanying interactive display. As they “insert” 5 cents in to the accompanying can, Lucy delivers her sage advice.


Window 3

Charlie Brown: All right. Let’s have it quiet. Places, everybody.

Schroeder, set the mood for the first scene.

Schroeder: Good grief.

Macy's Holiday Windows

The third window finds Charlie Brown in his newfound role attempting to restore order during play rehearsal. All but ignoring his orders, the gang is only too happy to dance to the beat of their own drum, in this case, Schroeder’s piano. Once again, audience participation is highly encouraged at this interactive window. A giant glass keyboard located at the base of the window allows visitors to become part of the show as they touch the keys on the window, which in turn illuminates the corresponding key at Schroeder’s piano playing the distinctive notes of the Charlie Brown classic tune “Linus and Lucy.”

Window 4

Charlie Brown: This little green one here seems to need a home.

Linus: I don’t know. Charlie Brown. Remember what Lucy said?

This doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit.

Charlie Brown: I don’t care. We’ll decorate it and it will be just right for our play.

Besides, I think it needs me.

Macy's Holiday Windows

The iconic Christmas tree lot scene is the site of the action in Window 4 where Charlie Brown is determined to make the unassuming little Christmas tree the star of his show. Festive LED tree lot lights set this stage, accented by animated twinkling stars with Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Woodstock and his friends embracing the holiday spirit.


Window 5

Charlie Brown: What’s this? Find the true meaning of Christmas? Win money, money, money. Spectacular, supercolossal, neighborhood Christmas lights and display contest.

Oh, no. My own dog, gone commercial. I can’t stand it!

First prize? Oh, well, this commercial dog is not going to ruin my Christmas.

Macy's Holiday Windows

On his way home, Charlie Brown happens upon Snoopy’s house and is dismayed to discover that his very own dog has “gone commercial” as the winner of the first place prize for his elaborate Christmas decoration. In turn, the proud owner of the prize suits up for a fantastic celebratory ride through the night, accompanied by Woodstock. At this window, passersby are able to become part of the fun through social media and are encouraged to tweet their favorite memories from the original “A Charlie Brown Christmas” using #macyschristmas that immediately appear in the window for all to see.  

Window 6

Lucy: Charlie Brown is a blockhead, but he did get a nice tree.

Charlie Brown: What’s going on here?

Children: (shout in unison)

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!

Macy's Holiday Windows

It all comes together during the grand finale in the final window. Charlie Brown and the entire PEANUTS gang gather around the gleaming Christmas tree, miraculously transformed from the previously scrawny specimen. Wishing Charlie Brown a hearty “Merry Christmas” they then sing in unison closing out the performance. In this final installment, visitors are invited to “Peanut Yourself” and upload their favorite PEANUTS character to their smartphone device. Their custom-designed PEANUTS character will then make its own guest appearance in the window. PEANUTS fans not finding themselves in New York City may still go nuts for PEANUTS by downloading the “Peanut Yourself” app on any iOS or Android device or by visiting the “Peanut Yourself” kiosk at select Macy’s.

In addition to the six Broadway windows, Macy’s will also be making holiday magic in each of the remaining windows throughout the store. The 34th Street windows will feature scenes from the emerging holiday classic “Yes, Virginia…”

The 2015 Christmas windows at Macy’s Herald Square will be on display through January 4.

Macy’s Herald Square Christmas Windows Fun Facts:

* Macy’s was the first department store to feature Christmas window displays and has been enchanting generations of spectators since the early 1870’s.

* RH Macy himself began the tradition of animated windows in 1899 at Macy’s original 14th street location.

* During peak hours over 10,000 people per hour will pass by the windows.

* Each Christmas window display is a project nearly a year in the making as plans for the next year's windows begin in January, almost immediately after the windows are taken down.

* It takes a dedicated team of over 250 of Santa's helpers to bring the windows to life including Macy's display artists, graphic artists, sculptural artists, animators, carpenters, electricians and music and sound experts.

* Installation of the Christmas windows takes 21 days and nights.