Macy's Windows, Making Shoppers 'Believe'

If you need some cheap cheer this holiday season, you can focus on 34th Street in Manhattan, where Macy's unveils its elaborate holiday windows today. Host Andrea Seabrook talks to Macy's window designer Paul Olszewski about this year's theme: believe.

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Tired of the bad economic news yet? Looking for a little cheer in the tough shopping season? And best of all, something that's free? Well, press your mittens up against the glass of Macy's on 34th Street in Manhattan and take a gander at this year's holiday windows. They're on display starting today.

(Soundbite of music)

SEABROOK: This year's theme is "Believe." Believe what? You ask.

Mr. PAUL OLSZEWSKI (Window Designer, Macy's): I wanted to take all the simple things that surround us during the holidays and make you believe that so much more goes into them, so much magic goes into them, than meets the eye.

SEABROOK: That's Paul Olszewski, Macy's window designer. He's the man whose job it is to make reluctant spenders "believe" this season. This year's windows were designed months before the market meltdown, so don't expect some kind of stripped-down scene. And if Olszewski sounds a little strange, it's because he's inside one of his windows.

Mr. OLSZEWSKI: It's very tight in here with all the mechanics.

SEABROOK: Mechanics?

Mr. OLSZEWSKI: Yeah. Each one of our windows has a ton of animation in it. It's very wild. My inspiration was kind of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." So there's a bunch of machinery and weird ingredients in here. For example, behind me now is this huge dial that is collecting charm tonic and fondness from the world. It's called the emotion detector. And then it's taking these ingredients and moving it down into a tube towards the front of the window. And in that window, people can come up and touch the glass. They put their hand on the machine, and that machine tells them what ingredient they're adding, and they're adding things like love and care and hope.

SEABROOK: Olszewski says all that love and care and hope gets rolled up into a colorful ball and sent out into the world as a Christmas ornament. So, do you believe? You can find out after gazing at Macy's magical displays. Put your hands on the believe-o-meter. It'll tell you exactly how much you're buying into this holiday season.

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