Getting in the Mood
I think at the very least my family will attest to the fact that I am not a Christmas-y person. The songs start too early and are garbage, the decorations are crass and I always have to defend my views on wrapping paper and greeting cards. All that in mind, I’ve been doing my best to get into the festive mood.
Christmastime in Melbourne
I think the first and most important thing to share with you is how very strange the build up to Christmas is when you’re able to go outside and enjoy temperatures in the high 20s. It just doesn’t make any sense. I’ve spent years being conditioned to believe that Christmas is a cold, wet, miserable, if you’re lucky white, family affair that is very much indoors.
The weirdest thing though, is the winter theme that has spread itself across shop windows. Myer is Australian’s largest department store and boy have they got some explaining to do. The length of their store in Bourke Street has been filled with snowy Christmas scenes and I can’t get my head around why. People queue up to walk past them, share a little piece of joy with their children and then return to the heat of the city. I just don’t get it.
With Myer’s madness aside, I’ve almost enjoyed the build up to Christmas this year. This is predominantly been because I have been able to avoid it until last weekend. Things started with a little Christmas party hosted by Sarah and Matt. Christmas songs were playing, we did Secret Santa and had a Christmas Number One quiz. I bet you can’t guess who was on the winning team for that quiz. So with things starting a week and a half before the actual date of Christmas, I’ve actually been able to handle the hype. Even at home things have been slow, the tree only started going up last week and it isn’t finished yet. With the exception of some fairy lights around our balcony, we’re pretty much done for decoration. This pleases me.
Going back to the city and avoiding Myer, I have to say I think Melbourne has done a pretty good job. Sure there are decorations hanging in most major streets but they’re subtle, for the most part anyway. Some of my favourites can be seen below.
Southbank Footbridge is one of the most popular bridges in Melbourne, so much so that people have taken to putting padlocks on it to prevent it from being stolen. For Christmas, it has been converted into a lovers bridge, flashing lovehearts, giant mistletoe and a red ribbon. I even saw an old couple stealing a kiss when I walked past.
One of the most iconic buildings in Melbourne’s CBD is Flinders Street Station and I had half expected it to be decorated from end to end, amazingly I was proved wrong and there is a simple message lighting up the one side.
The same can’t be said of the Town Hall. Decorated from top to bottom as a present during the day and used as a screen for a projection of an elves factory in the evening. Safe to say it is one of the more elaborately decorated building I’ve ever seen. I’m still undecided as to whether I think it’s pretty cool or pretty disgusting.
There’s are Christmas trees scattered all over the city centre and while it definitely isn’t a tree I have a lot of time for the festive colour scheme that is currently lighting up the Arts Centre. Simple. Subtle. Perfect.
My plans are set for next week in Queensland. I’m spending a few days in Brisbane with an excursion to the Gold Coast before heading up to Bribie Island for Christmas and I’m actually reasonably excited. It’s my first Christmas away from home and without my family. If nothing else, it will be an interesting experience!