perfect

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

 

Who decorates your Christmas tree?

It may seem like an obvious or irrelevant question, but who decorates your Christmas tree?Three chidlren decroating a Christmas tree

I discussed this with some Mums at kinder yesterday as we watched the kids decorate their kinder tree – a real Christmas tree sits in their group area with baskets of tinsel and ornaments so they can decorate and redecorate it as they wish. It’s a simple and fun activity for them.

Allowing children to decorate a Christmas tree

One Mum doesn’t let her kids near the tree and decorates it all herself so it is done properly and looks perfect. And Dhrynio commented last week that her mother-in-law had always decorated their tree so Dhrynio’s husband didn’t know how to do it!

Other Mums let their kids decorate the lower parts of the tree however they want. The upper part is either done by the parents or is directed by the kids but with parental assistance.Yong boy and Dad hang an ornament on a Christmas tree

A blog post I  read recently mixed both these traditions (I can’t remember where I read it – I’ll add the link when I find it!). She let the kids go wild and decorate the tree in the evening. Once they had gone to bed, she pulled everything off the tree and started again, doing it her ‘control freak’ way! She gave the kids the fun of decorating and herself the reward of having a perfect tree she could enjoy. I’m just not sure how the kids would feel when seeing their creativity was replaced by Mum’s perfection.

Protecting special decorations

Most of us keep certain ornaments – fragile and particularly sentimental ones – out of the kids’ reach and put them on the tree ourselves.

One Mum said she kept nothing from her daughter to provide the lesson of caring for things and being careful. I love that principle and her courage (she even lets her touch glass balls imported from Europe!), but I just don’t want to risk some of my more precious decorations to a curious and lively two-year old!

Many of my more precious ornaments are actually precious because they were made by my daughters when younger – they are fragile at the joins, etc rather than because they are glass, and precious because they are not replaceable.

Child participation and perfection

Can you have it both ways – let everyone put decorations on the tree for fun and have a tree that is stylish and perhaps artistic?

It may be a bit hard to manage both on one tree (although I have this image in my head now of a tree done perfectly on one side and chaotically on the other, and just rotating it as suits the time or audience!)

To me, a solution is to have two trees or two rooms/areas and treat each differently.

For example, have a stylish tree in a formal lounge room and let the kids be creative with the family room tree.

Or maybe it can be a time share thing – let the kids decorate the tree on 1 December but redecorate it on the 19th or so so it is ‘perfect’ for Christmas Day photos and any gatherings you have in the house in the last few days.

So who decorates your Christmas tree?

Did you set your own decorating tradition or have you copied what you did as a child?

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