If you live in Melbourne or Victoria you will no doubt know about the Myer Christmas windows in the Bourke Street Mall. Each year, well for the last 59 years at least, the windows have come alive with a different story. Previous yearsí stories have included The Twelve Days of Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Christmas Carol and How Santa Really Works as well as fairy tales such as Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This year the theme is Santa Claus and the Three Bears.
Over the years the decorated windows have become a tradition for Melbournians, a place for generations of children (and adults for that matter) to visit and enjoy.The windows first began in 1956 with an idea from Fred Asmussen. Fred had been in charge of window dressing the Myer windows since 1939. His last window was the Butterfly Ball in 1974 but the tradition has continued since then to keep his dream alive, to keep the generations of families returning year after year to relive their childhood traditions and bring the tradition alive for their children and grandchildren.
Whether we love or hate big department stores, we can be grateful that stores like Myer are committed to finding ways to give back to the community by creating a tradition that is carried on through thick and thin. That can be relied upon despite the challenges facing us all each year. Thatís what traditions and rituals are all about I guess. That sense of some things continuing, of being there, providing us with a sense of security, a sense of stability and hope that regardless of what happens around us these traditions will remain.
If you visit the windows each year take a moment to reflect on the vision of Fred and of the team of workers who continue to plan and work throughout the year to bring the windows alive for Christmas each year. If you havenít visited the windows before you might see if you can make a special trip into the heart of Melbourne. Itís better to do this earlier rather than too close to Christmas. Everyone else will be there then.
You will be able to truly experience the joy of Christmas by being with a lot of other excited people, children and adults alike, when you walk into the Mall. You will almost be able to soak up the atmosphere and regardless of what else is happening in your life this spirit will remind you of the importance of having traditions we can share with each other.