‘Twas the week before Christmas and Brisbane city was alive with the squeal of delighted children and rainbow-coloured fireworks to rival even the greatest of light-displays. Brisbaneites young and old alike donned their very best Santa Hats and took to the streets to partake in the city’s very special kind of Christmas-cheer.
First stop on a humid Friday night was the famous Myer Christmas Parade, where a pun-tastic theme following that oh-so-catchy carol The Twelve Days of Christmas had me laughing as often as I mouthed “oh, so cool” to my Mum. Hey, if there’s ever any excuse needed to hang out with your parents Christmas is the time. But, back to the parade! I admit I was a little cynical while forcing my away through a sea of stroller-pushing parents with young kids as to how exciting the parade could be; but as soon as a float carrying three girls in gloriously feathered headdresses holding an old fashioned rotary telephone to their ears while the music sang a cheery four calling birds, I was sold. You just can’t go past a good pun to win my heart.
Next, we scuttled along with the rest of the crowd to the Brisbane City Hall Light Spectacular. I wasn’t as impressed with this as I could’ve been as the story, based on The Nutcracker, was a little hard to follow. Maybe I’ve just been spoilt by the epic adventure that is London’s Winter Wonderland. But once I took a step back and tried to figure out the technical skill involved in co-ordinating the projection to fit perfectly against the city hall’s many faceted columns and intricate reliefs I was blow away by the detail the animators put into the project – and the hilarious groups of kids running around with foam reindeer hats on was just a bonus.
Now it was time for my favourite part, the fireworks! Perfectly in sync to a soundtrack just dripping in festive spirit, the crackling colours lighting up the sky left me feeling so perfectly Christmas-y. With a cool river breeze making the limited personal space a little bit more bearable, and the cultivated rainforest of iconic South Bank utilized as a very Queensland backdrop, the fireworks seemed to me to embody a Brisbane Christmas like no other. Plus, there’s just something so pleasing to my perfectionist brain when the music crescendos at the exact same time as a spectacular burst of gunpowder and magic flies into the sky. I’m a weirdo, I know.
Finally, I managed to squeeze in and peruse the awesome gift ideas lining the cobblestone streets of Brisbane’s increasingly more popular South Bank Christmas Markets. Lines of twinkling fairy lights wrapped around every tree, and even stretched between buildings like a way prettier version of the famous Italian washing lines I adore. Even the usual white canvas tents that usually housed the varied collection of jewellery, stationery, food, clothing, and art were transformed into a sea of red and white stripes. The main attraction was, of course, the collection of Christmas-themed baked treats on offer, selling everything from the quintessential fruit mince pie, to gloriously delicious churros coated in cinnamon sugar. Oh my gosh, those churros -drools-.
Though a Christmas in sub-tropical Brisbane is a far-cry from the chilly white wonderland I’m sure some of you are familiar with on the other side of the world, there’s just so something so unique about a Christmas in summer that Brisbane certainly delivers on – and you just can’t go wrong with that friendly, small-town feel that so many of my fellow locals seem to exude around the holidays. Let’s just say Brisbane has done it again.
What is Christmas like where you are? Do you have any favourite holiday spots or traditions? Let me know in the comments down below, or shoot me an email and I’d love to chat!