Nov 29, 2013

Christmas in the CBD. Festive Preparations Begin.

I had my morning coffee amongst the neatly folded shirts in the CBD yesterday.  It was a much needed caffeine hit after surviving the morning peak hour on the Anzac Bridge, then the cross city tunnel and finally a sharp right turn into Rushcutter's Bay to drop off the car.  I have nothing but good things to say about sat nav that manages to work in the tunnel.  As an added bonus, the service was fully covered by the dealership and they cleaned my car and did the tyre pressures for me. 

Yesterday was also the day that the CBD got it's Christmas on with the lights being switched on last night.  Festive stars glittered on the lamp posts in Martin Place.  Shop windows were festooned with with tinsel and shiny baubles.

Whilst down on ground level, the finishing touches were being completed on the tree.  Santa's bicycle drawn sleigh was also getting its final tyre and grease check.  It must have been the day for vehicle servicing.

Even the engineers got into the spirit with their spray painted pavement codes scrawled in red, green and white rather than their usual fluorescent yellow and orange.  I was reading in the paper the other day that the colours actually have a specific code for utilities such as gas, electricity and water.  The numbers are to do with distances from ground level as well as being co-ordinates to locate specific pipes.  Apparently it's all worked out with radars placed above the pipes at ground level.  You learn something new every day.

Christmas is going to be low key for us this year.  One of the good things about this is that there's more capacity in the gift budget to do a bit more for people who will could do with an extra helping of festive cheer.  I'm aiming to make a donation to a different organization each week as we lead up to Christmas.

I heard about a group of people who were preparing care packages that Australia post were delivering for free to Australian troops in service abroad and thought that it was a great project to be involved with.  I did a bit of research and discovered that while the care packages were welcomed, contributions to the RSL were thought to be a bit more helpful in the long term.  Clicking on to the RSL page lead me to some information about the various things that the RSL does for our Defence Force and Police serving overseas.  The AFOF (Australian Forces Overseas Fund) provides two packages a year to personnel serving overseas.   Donations can be made from the web page through paypal or by credit card.

It took a lot of swearing and screen refreshing to get to this point....  Lots.

As low key as Christmas may be, there are still things that have to be bought.  I managed to whip myself into a tizz about heirloom tree decorations this week.  Actually putting up a tree isn't going to happen this year because it would be unlikely to survive even half an hour in Baby SSG's company.  So my alternate plan was to buy him some special decorations for next year's tree.  

I had my heart set on a Wedgwood Baby's First Christmas carousel but the problem was where to get one from.  Wedgwood's Australian site had sold out and David Jones appeared to be the only local retailer still with stock.  Postage was ridiculous on eBay and Amazon wasn't delivering to Australia.

David Jones has been online for a while now and though I'd heard that there were glitches when things first went live, I was feeling brave and decided to place an order on Wednesday night.  It was quite an adventure.  If you're used to how efficiently overseas and most local online retailers operate online, navigating the DJs system will make you blood pressure rise with each click that results in a new box appearing on the screen telling you that your order can't be processed for various reasons.

David Jones offer two ways of ordering.  Goods can be posted to you or else you can pick up from your selected DJs store.  The problem is that whilst items are listed as 'in stock' when you add them to your order, inventory for pick up and delivery seem to be separate entities and can be a reason why your order doesn't progress online (thank you R, for enlightening me) if there's no stock in the online inventory and you opted for your order to be delivered.

My tree decorations appear to be items that can only be ordered for store pick up.  It was a bit of trial and error choosing the right David Jones to nominate for pick up.  If your ordered items aren't at the DJs of your choice, a message appears telling you that your order cannot be filled based on the store you've chosen (it's not clear from item descriptions which stores stock particular items).  DJs Market Street ended up doing the trick for me.

Wedgwood Baby's First Christmas carousel tree ornament, $49.99.

On the plus side, my order was filled within 24 hours and I was able to pick up my order on Thursday.  The carousel ornament is very cute and also available in pink.

Waterford Crystal Baby's First Christmas ornament - $39.99.

Just in case blue and white china doesn't match next year's tree decorations, I've also got a go with anything Waterford ornament too.

My next Christmas job is Santa photos.  We're doing ours tomorrow.  I'm making an early start and hope that the line isn't crazy.  Not long to go now!

Have a lovely weekend.


  1. Ain't nothing wrong with a low key Christmas.
    Christmases can be difficult for many reasons- plenty of folks have been there.
    If nothing else it's an excuse to quietly eat yourself into a coma.
    Hugs- Cilla xxx

    1. Thanks Cilla, looking forward to an impressive food coma this Christmas!

      SSG xxx

  2. So nice seeing Sydney getting all festive! And those decorations are beautiful too! :)

    Hope the santa photos go well! :) We are going to get a set of Cooper this year, haha! Was pleased to find Westfield do pet santa photos too! :)

    Away From The Blue

    1. A set of photos with Cooper! That sounds like great fun.

      SSG xxx

  3. Aww first santa photo is exciting!

    1. It was an interesting experience but went pretty well all things considered.

      SSG xxx

  4. Beautiful ornaments! Good choices. I love how the city is filled with so much Christmas right now. I'm lapping it up before I have to leave the country for a wedding!

    I really dislike the DJ's online shopping interface too. I bought a few Glasshouse candles a while ago, and it was quite an ordeal!


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