Nothing says festive cheer like a security guard in Federation Square taking pictures of tourists in front of the giant electric Christmas tree at 9am. He has to keep stepping further back to get more of the tree in. Further. Further still. Its many-spiked star competes with the cathedral spires, just out of frame.
The problem with summer is that you need to wait another twelve hours before a light-up tree is worth it. And even then, several branches will malfunction. Yet the pictures continue. The fake snow, the wooden nativity, the candy cane as tall as your dad.
It’s the same one as last year, the tree. Same sign, too. I know local councils have better things to spend their money on, but still. We’ve already suffered through the White Witch’s winter-without-Christmas, do we not deserve fresh décor?
There are stalls and things to eat and more things to photograph. Helpful signage points you to the North Pole and, in the same direction, Bourke St Mall. A star hangs over a stable. Auspicious locations deserve markers.
A family gathers beneath the lowest malfunctioning bough, phones flashing. And I notice for the first time that the baubles on the tree aren’t fixed, but hanging, swaying softly in the breeze. It makes it look so… real.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 23rd December 2018 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.