myer windows

A perfect Christmas at Myer Melbourne

For 62 years, the Burke St Melbourne’s Myer store has put on a magical Christmas display in their windows.

Myer window history

Each year, a different theme or story connects the 6 or so windows and people queue up to see what has been done. It is estimated that about 1.2 million people see it each Christmas!

Starting with a sporting theme in 1956 (the year of the Melbourne Olympics) and Santa joining the Olympic torch relay, the windows have covered a number of themes such as Uno’s Garden, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Rudolph, the 12 Days of Christmas and the Little Dog and the Christmas wish. The full list of themes up to 2007 is on the eMelbourne site and there are some wonderful old photos at the Herald Sun.

Over time, other Myer stores have also showcased animations in their windows – generally, Brisbane matches Melbourne while Wagga Wagga, Ballarat and Geelong reuse the displays from Melbourne a year or so later (which gives me a chance to visit some I may have missed!).

Now, there are security guards to create an orderly queue. Years ago, it was just a scramble of people trying to see over each other’s shoulders and wait for a turn towards the front of the crowd to see.

Myer window sign of the completely and utterly absolutely perfect Christmas

An absolutely perfect Christmas story

For the last couple of years, Myer’s ad campaigns for Christmas have centred around some living Christmas decorations. This year, that theme continues alongside a book about those same decoration characters – in particular, about Elf and his desire for an absolutely perfect Christmas.

The book is called The completely and utterly, absolutely perfect Christmas and written H C Floren for Myer and can come to life with an augmented reality app. At this stage, the book is only available through Myer stores (including online).

Elf and his friends Reindeer, Mouse and Angel feature in the window animations. As you move along the windows, the story follows Elf’s journey to find some suitably dedicated decorations as he doesn’t think his friends are taking decorating seriously enough.

Through a progression of stops where other decorations also are not quite right for him, Elf makes his way back home for a wonderful, slightly imperfect Christmas instead.

The absolutely perfect window scenes

We really enjoyed the windows this year, and were lucky enough to only have a short queue to wait in.

For those unable to see these beautiful windows, here are some photos from our trip to the Burke St mall. Obviously, these are taken through glass so are not the best photos, although I must say I actually like the gum tree reflection across the top of pictures!

Myer's elf with the Christmas tree ornaments

The story starts with Elf and friends trying to decorate their Christmas tree

Myer elf beside some letter boxes

I loved seeing Elf sit by some letter boxes with letters, presumably from Santa and friends, and presents popping out!

elf looking at Santa, a snowman and reindeer decroations

Elf’s first stop is a set of outdoor decorations that have been used for many years

elf peering in a window

Elf then looks at a minimalist window decoration

elf holding the ends of a power cord in front of a house

Elf visits a suburban home and sees some Christmas light decorations

Elf sitting on a colourful seesaw

Outside a childcare centre, Elf meets a number of decorations made by children

Elf dn reindeer beside their Christmas tree

Back home, Elf is happy to be with Reindeer beside their Christmas tree

Reindeer, Angel, Elf and Mouse enjoy their Christmas tree

The story ends with Reindeer, Angel, Elf and Mouse enjoying their almost-perfect Christmas tree

 

Melbourne’s Myer windows

Growing up in Melbourne means visiting the Myer windows for Christmas.

Collage of Myer windows, Christmas 2015

A long standing tradition

As I mentioned last week, this is the 60th year that Myer has been providing this festive delight to Melbournians.

Like many Melbournians, I remember heading into the city (and going by train just added to the excitement!) to view the windows as a child and again with my friends as a teenager. Now, I get to take my children in and share the experience with them.

All but a few years had moving parts to the displays, and all years have a theme linking the six windows.

60 years

To celebrate the fact that the Myer windows are 60 years old, one of this year’s windows was very special. It showed the back of a typical scene so we can see the mechanism allowing for movement.

On either side of that scene was a bookshelf containing items/characters from old window themes. That is one window I wish I had been able to spend more time at, but it went quickly and was of less interest to my kids.

2015 – the little dog story

Little dog sitting in front of a gate in Myer windowSo this year, the theme behind the Myer Christmas windows is the book Little dog and the Christmas wish by Corinne Fenton.

Each window has a little dog at the front of the window looking into the scene of the story. The story can be heard and read as you move along the series.

As the little dog move around the suburbs and city of Melbourne, the various scenes show Melbourne from the 50s.

Changes over time

When we visited the windows last week I noticed a few changes from when I was younger.

  • there are structured queues so everyone gets a turn and starts at one end of the windows – and the doorways into Myer are kept free for shoppers! I remember crowds of people in front of each window, and you just saw them as you could.
  • the displays are behind a curtain. The curtain goes up, the story and movement starts, then the curtain goes down again to signal it’s time to move onto the next scene. There’s nothing to really stop you watching a particular scene more than once, but it is a good way to keep things moving smoothly. The curtains themselves show a design specifically done by Robin Cowcher, the book’s illustrator.
2015 Myer windows with 60th sign and little dog

The Little dog looking at the closed screen

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