Christmas, Melbourne

A Melbourne Christmas – 2022

My mind gently wanders back to the times I found myself in places like Mainz (Germany), London (England) and Pistoia (Italy) for the holidays. The magic and lights of a Northern Hemisphere Christmas never seizes to astound me, but this year I’m preparing to celebrate at home yet again in Melbourne, Australia – during summer!

Melbourne has truly come through with the decorations this year. From the row of pink Christmas crackers lining the harbour at Docklands, to the iconic Nutcrackers standing proud at Melbourne Town Hall in front of the highly-entertaining singing reindeers and the traditional Myer Christmas windows pulling in the crowds, there is no shortage of fun to be had no matter your age.

Something new that I discovered this year was the immaculate building at 333 Collins Street. Stepping in from the street you immediately feel like you’ve gone back in time when this used to be the banking hall of the former Commercial Bank of Australia. Built between 1891-93, during the holidays there’s a sparkling tree in the centre and decorations to rival New York City or London. I highly recommend a visit there if you’re visiting Melbourne or perhaps you’re a local like me and have never heard of this place before. It’s magical!

Federation Square is Melbourne’s favourite meeting spot and every year its famous 16-metre tall Christmas tree stands front and centre, looking extra impressive as night falls. The Evan Walker Bridge is back with its golden star and this year the Southbank area is filled with attractions for children big and small including a festive playground, illuminated dance floor and poetic flowers in motion. Pop in to the The Block Arcade and see the most photographed cake window display in Australia at Hopetoun Tea Rooms and don’t forget to visit Melbourne’s famous laneways like Degraves St to see it sparkling at night. You’ll also find building projections on The Forum and the Town Hall creating a really cool vibe in the evening.

Of course there’s so much more to see and do in Melbourne! I would also suggest a visit to Crown Casino and a walk along the Yarra River towards Birrarung Marr for the Christmas Carnival. The atmosphere of a summer Christmas is different but still electric as long as you’re willing to seek out the places that inspire you. Wishing you all a wonderful festive season, wherever in the world you may be!

Celebrations, Christmas

Christmas Snapshots – Melbourne

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The festive season is just around the corner and the streets of Melbourne have been tastefully decorated for the celebration. I must admit that I prefer the Northern Hemisphere traditional type of Christmas experience with snow dusting the streets, markets gracing town squares and the scents of cinnamon and roasting chestnuts filling the air. It’s such a beautiful time of year. In Australia however, we celebrate Christmas in summer and this mostly involves a trip to the beach and family gatherings over a backyard barbecue.


There’s a wonderful Christmas tradition in our department store Myer which has been going since 1956. Animated Christmas Windows at their Bourke St. Mall store bring the magic of the holiday season to life like nothing else. It’s always wonderful seeing families with children lining the street to peek into windows and to hear a story along with moving characters and sets. This year they’ve brought to life a children’s book called “One Christmas Eve” by Corinne Fenton with illustrations by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. It took the team 40 weeks of total production time and 25 days to install the windows, and the result speaks for itself.


Christmas is such a magical time of year, even without snow and cinnamon and Christmas markets!


We hope everyone has a splendid time in the lead-up to Christmas. Don’t forget, our Mishka Mail monthly subscription club is taking sign-ups until the 11th of December and the last theme for 2016 is “Summer Vibes”.

Christmas, Travel

Melbourne at Christmas Time

For many people it’s extremely unusual to think about celebrating Christmas in the summer but for us Aussies, it’s what we do best. The streets of Melbourne are currently decorated in the traditional colours of Christmas and unlike our US/European friends, we can roam the streets in our T-shirts, indulge in ice-cream and go for a swim at the beach. While I prefer the traditional Christmas of snowy streets and warm homes filled with the scent of mulled wine and cinnamon, and the option of buying gifts at hearty Christmas markets, in many ways we are truly blessed to have our end of year holidays during the summer and a great atmosphere of Christmas cheer on the streets.






London, Markets

A London Christmas

Southbank Pigeons

London truly comes alive during the festive season. I was fortunate enough to spend the Christmas of 2011 and 2012 in London and feel the electric atmosphere of its markets, street lights and decorations, as well as experience the general excitement and buzz of tourists and locals alike. Europe is something truly special during Christmas, isn’t it?

The Winter Wonderland is a phenomenal place to feel the spirit of Christmas. Located in London’s famous Hyde Park, there’s an ice-skating rink, small wooden chalets with everything from Christmas toys for the tree to unique decorations and candles. There are also German gingerbread houses and pretzels, Spanish churros and Belgian waffles to try, not to mention the fun rides, giant talking tree and singing reindeer! Pure magic!

Along the river Thames, with views of Big Ben and the London Eye, another brilliant addition to the London Christmas scene is the Southbank Centre Christmas Market. Here the scent of roasting chestnuts and cinnamon-spices fill the air. People can be seen drinking warm mulled wine and buying last-minute Christmas gifts to surprise their loved-ones with, all to the tune of catchy Christmas tunes and carols.

Other places worth visiting during the holidays are Covent Garden and Oxford Street, with its famous Selfridge’s department store creating wonderful store windows for all to see. Simply wandering around the city brings an indescribable sense of pleasure to everyone who happens to be in London over Christmas and it’s a feeling that cannot be discovered in any other city quite to the same extent.

Covent Garden Oxford Street

Our Shop

An update!

We’ve been super busy here at Graceful Avenue in the run up to Christmas.

Every day until Dec 25 one lucky shopper receives our unique handmade prize pack. We’ve also got hot cups of coffee to warm you up and a great range of Christmas gifts and cards for you to choose from. So what are you waiting for? Support handmade this Christmas and give gifts that are highly original and will not be found anywhere else!

Those of you who live in London can get to Bushey Station in just 20-minutes by Overground train. International customers visit our online shop and place your order today!

We can’t wait to meet you and play a part in your Christmas story!


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