Mariah’s come out of hibernation, the jingling of bells is in the air, and the festive season is well and truly underway. Santa Claus is coming to town, baby!
We’re channelling the Christmas cheer of times gone by with a festive journey into the wonderful, fantastic, very excellent State Library of Western Australia Facebook page – bringing you a splendid selection of Perth’s Christmas decorations from the past century.
We’ll start things off with the not-too-distant past: Santa greeting kids in twinkling soft-focus, in the latticework surrounds of Whitfords Shopping Centre in 1992. (Hopefully they all got to go to Lone Star Saloon afterwards.)
A couple of years later in 1994, the rather restrained nativity scene at Galleria is made all the more exciting by the promise of Daryl Braithwaite’s upcoming performance. Do you think they could truly grasp the cultural impact The Horses would come to have on society?
Travelling further back to the ’80s, we’re pretty mesmerised by the technicolour twinkling of these Christmas lights throughout the city.
Just a few years earlier, another CBD cinema was also decked out for Christmas – as well as the arrival of the first ever Star Wars film:
The ’60s were no slumps when it came to their Christmas lights, either – just check out these impressive displays on Murray Street, photographed almost identically a few years apart:
At approximately the same time in 1964, a mammoth Santa looms over the Bairds façade on the corner of William and Murray Streets.
Shopping is an inescapable part of Christmas, with beloved department store Boans an integral part of Perth shoppers’ festive fun – whether having a leisurely peruse through the tinsel-filled, gleamingly violet displays in 1966, or in the throng of shoppers filling the sales floor in the late ’50s.
While you couldn’t tell from the below photograph, the 1908 Silver Chain Christmas Tree Fête was filled to the brim with Christmas crowds.
The fête was held at St Georges Hall to fundraise transportation (a horse and trap) for Nurse Cherry, who had to get to each patient on foot – rain, hail or shine!
Alongside music performances and stalls for refreshments and ice cream, the Silver Chain stall pictured here was decorated rather modestly with streamers – although the rest of the hall was decorated with hundreds of red roses.
And of course, as we’re sure these kids lining up for the 1935 6PR Childrens Party would agree, no Christmas is complete without a visit from Santa – whether arriving by chopper in 1966 or, as in 1940, sailing in on a boat with Goldilocks and the three bears!
Wow, we’re feeling rather peckish after that trip through the past – and what better way to sate our hunger than with a delicious Christmas dinner from the 1985 Foodlands catalogue?
Or a delicious Watsonia canned ham from 1954?