by Stephen Garner

This holiday season, Nordstrom wants to pay homage to the experiences that bring holiday connection to life through its new campaign and programming, “Make Merry.”

This year’s Holiday Gift Shop was created as a platform to discover the best gifts this season – all under $100. The shop will feature exclusive and new-to-Nordstrom brands across all categories including home, tech, beauty, and toys – along with an emphasis on DIY activities to engage individuals and families during extended stay-at-home guidance. Make Merry Holiday Gift Shops will be available in all Nordstrom stores in the U.S., paired with an online experience to deepen the customer relationship during a very different Holiday season.

The retailer has also partnered with Balsam Hill artificial Christmas trees – the first time the brand is available at a retail partner. The trees will be on sale at 21 select Nordstrom locations this holiday. Nordstrom is also offering L.L.Bean items for men, women, kids, and home in 20 Nordstrom stores nationwide and online this season. This is the first time L.L.Bean has entered into a U.S. wholesale partnership with a fashion retailer in the company’s 108-year history.

The retailer’s Holiday Pop-In@Nordstrom is launching once again this year. The Joy of Pop-In@Nordstrom will feature hundreds of gifts to spread joy and cultivate a sense of togetherness after a year of social distancing. The assortment features gifts from exciting brands such as Hygge Games, Oru Kayaks, Piecework Puzzles, Ritual Vitamins, Theragun, Upton Home, Wool & The Gang and more in a range of price points, with exclusive merchandise from Pop-Up Grocer, Patagonia ReCrafted Collection | Worn Wear, The Crafters Box, Susan Alexandra and new-to-Nordstrom brands – all curated by Olivia Kim, vice president of creative projects and home at Nordstrom.

Every week throughout November, one lucky Nordstrom customer will have their entire Nordstrom Wishlist fulfilled, a value of $5,000. All you have to do is have a Nordstrom account and create a Wishlist.

And, this year customers of all ages can engage with Nordstrom Santa on their terms – by sending him an email (starting 10/29) or writing him a letter and dropping it off in-store or via Curbside Pickup (starting 11/27). You can use your own holiday stationery or a printable online template. Santa is sure to respond by Christmas!  Plus, the retailer is offering a personalized virtual chat experience – a private, 15-minute Zoom call with Santa himself! Tickets are $20 and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit Operation Warm & Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Nordstrom’s NYC Flagship store will officially unveil its holiday decorations the Friday after Thanksgiving for the first time ever. A crew of nearly 100 Nordstrom team members will transform the 320,000 square-foot, seven-floor store with 253,000 feet (nearly 50 miles!) of twinkling lights, over 700 Scandinavian-inspired ornaments, 150 trees, 150 hanging chandeliers, snowflakes, and candle wreaths, 120 column wraps with hanging wood scones, 50 illuminated branches, and 20 wall-mounted sculptures. Red and white lights will illuminate the stunning iconic waveform glass façade on 57th street — turning it into a blinking light show throughout the Holidays.

Santa and his elves will take up residence at Nordstrom NYC throughout the Holiday season. Customers are invited to participate in a daily Santa Snow Show, featuring a visit by the jolly old elf complete with a magical snowfall at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day along the store’s escalators.