Searching for Christmas Spirit ~ Darling Harbour & Circular Quay, Sydney Australia

Large blow-up santa, hanging from the side of a building: Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour

Hanging out for Christmas ~ Darling Harbour

I’ve had a bit of trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year – which is surprising, really, considering we spent last year in a country that doesn’t officially celebrate Christmas. But, even though December 25th is a normal working day in Thailand, the country goes all out to decorate for the season. Aside from a rather tacky Nativity scene at our local shopping centre, the neighbourhood around our (temporary) home in Sydney is, by contrast, remarkably clear of any seasonal decorations.

I thought it would be good to go in search of some Christmas cheer.

So, we left our preoccupations with builders and boxes behind and headed downtown to the bright lights and tinsel. Maybe it is the rising cost of electricity or a new environmental awareness, but we didn’t find any! Darling Harbour in Sydney sported several blow-up santas as part of it’s Santa Fest and a LED Christmas tree made from recycled materials, but not much that sparkled in daylight.

Large blow-up santa on a glass roof: Harbourside Darling Harbour, Sydney

Santa is Watching!

Small felt koala in a santa suit on a tinsel tree + reflections in a shop window

Reflecting on an Aussie Christmas.

LED Christmas tree against a cloudy sky.

Recycled Tree

“Not particularly inspiring!” I thought.

Part of my problem, I think, is that we are still a bit dislocated (more than usual), and I haven’t been able to spend time doing the sorts of things I usually do this time of year in preparation for time with the family. The weather was unseasonal cool and overcast, and for a while it was hard to reclaim the spirit of the season.

But, Sydney is a lucky city in The Lucky Country. It could be argued that it should be Christmas everyday – and indeed, the joy of childhood and the beauty of the harbour are always around us.

Young child in a red t-shirt and diaper running through a water fountain.

Joy! Running on Water

Foreground: Sydney 2000 Olympic Symbol; CBD buildings in the background

The Sydney Olympic spirit lives on.

Australian Maritime Museum glass front with reflections of central Sydney buildings.

CBD Reflections in the front of the Australian Maritime Museum.

large cruise boat in front of North Sydney buildings, Opera House

Cruise Boat, saying good-bye to Sydney Harbour.

Text: May the Spirit of the Season be with You.


So, I wish you good tidings where ever you are, and what ever Christmas means to you.




Blue balls on a blue Christmas tree

Bangkok Blues

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  • Anna :o] - December 24, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    Merry Christmas Ursula and have a wonderful New Year!

    Anna :o]ReplyCancel

    • Ursula - December 25, 2011 - 4:02 am

      Thanks, Anna! All the best to you and yours. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Signe Westerberg - December 29, 2011 - 1:31 am

    I know I’m a couple of days late which is somewhat naughty of me, and the fact you will now be in Eden not Sydney, my suggestion that a house in Malacoff St Marrickville has outdone itself with Christmas cheer is all but too late. I like you went in search of those pretty decorated homes and found but a few, in years past Chipping Norton had the reputation of being the “place to be’ with whole streets decorated so much so they had to get approval for one way traffic to accomodate the crowds… alas as you say the cost of electricity seems to have dampened the glitter for many.
    May the New Year Bring you much joy in your new home.. and I imagine a good share of unpacking 🙁 … We’re looking for a long weekend to accept your kind invitation.. I will be in touch LOL

    chat soon.ReplyCancel

    • Ursula - December 31, 2011 - 6:48 am

      I thought you were going to take some computer-free time, Signe, but I’m always glad to have you aboard! 🙂
      Happy New Year to you all.ReplyCancel

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