Friday, December 9, 2011

Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It's Christmas Time in the City

One of my fondest memories of Christmas time is going to visit the city to see the tree, and the lights and all the store windows that had been decorated for the season.

Every year Mum and Dad would pack Jessica and I into the car and we would drive into the city, usually after dinner. Our special treat was always a Hungry Jacks (Burger King for my US friends) soft serve ice cream cone.  After all the gorgeous hand churned, locally produced, organic and artisan ice cream I have eaten, one bite of one of these can still take me back to those nights with my family. In fact, whenever I am in the city at Christmas time there is some kind of special magic. somehow I shrink back down to a little girl in a red and white dress, white sandals strapped to my feet and ribbon in my hair.
Trent and Jess
The cobblestones of the pedestrian mall still feel the same beneath the soles of my shoes as I wander up to Myer to see what the window dressers have chosen to display this year, what story they have decided will be animated with puppets, which music will be quietly piping its way into the crowds gathered around the glass. As our ice creams melted a little we would grip Mum and Dad's hands tightly and make our way over to King George Square to see the Christmas tree. Seemingly miles high from an 8 year old's view point it gleamed with huge baubles, and white strings of light, and always perched on top was a beautiful Christmas star.
Papa Bear and Mama Bear
This year, I wanted to recapture the magic. I set a date with my family to have dinner and wander in the city like we did all those years ago. Of course, this year we were five rather than four because Trent is part of our big crazy circus too!
Not little girls anymore
Although the windows were not as good as they once were, the tree was still beautiful and the night was just as magical as I remember. After a wonderful dinner at Vapiano we marvelled at the tree, checked out some of the stores (and did some Christmas shopping for the little Chickpea) and had some quality people watching time. 
Gluten free gnocchi pomodoro with parmigiano - delicious!
 Although we didn't get to have our soft serve ice cream cones, Mum and I shared our favourite (lemon sorbet) while we browsed a book store. 
Now I am sitting at home beside my own beautiful tree, an indulgence I allow myself every night leading up to Christmas when everyone else has gone to bed.

There is something in the glow of the lights that sends time away, shifts me into that special place where I can reflect on all that I have learnt over the past year, all that has changed and grown inside since those lights last shone into the night.

I think that is a tale for another night though. Tonight I am going to sleep with the same peace as my 8 year old self, the same excitement for the magic of Christmas, and the grown up knowledge that the real magic is the wonder of family, the miracle of friends, and the myriad blessings in my life every day of the year.


  1. How exciting to be able to see all the Christmas fun in the city. Living here in the boonies, I miss all that good stuff.
    *kisses* HH

  2. sounds like a fun and delicious evening :) glad to have found ur blog and cant wait to read more from u!

  3. what a wonderful night to share with your family! and a beautifully written post. love the gorgeous photo of you and your sis! wow...this just sounds like the perfect night! so glad you got to share this with your fam! and a wonderfully beautiful tree as well!

  4. Ah, what a nice tradition with your family! Mine used to be who could hold the record for picking the tree the quickest then everyone taking turns picking ornaments to put on the tree. Now none of us are home at the same time so it's hard, but we'll all be home Christmas morning, which didn't happen last year, so that might be a new one!

  5. xmas in full force!! wow, that is sooo gorgeous and it is so fun this time of year because i feel like a little kid too. i think of all the things i used to do in prep for the big santa bomb, and it gives me a buzz. am i the only one who craves watching 'A Christmas Story' on repeat?? ;) ur ornaments and tree look beautiful too, and so glad u had a blast with the fam! :)

  6. We were there tonight and then I see your post about the city Christmas Tree - lovely :)

  7. Lots of gorgeous Christmas Inspiration!
    I am so glad to have just stumbled across your lovely blog. I am your newest follower! I look forward to popping back for some more inspiration!