1. Carols by Candelight
What would Christmas in Geelong be without good ol’ Dennis Walter leading us in carols down by Eastern Beach? Throw in an appearance by Humphrey Bear, some Geelong folks who have gone on to make it big, and a fireworks show that wakes up the littlies, and you have a staple on the calendar.
2. Meter Elves
A shout out has to go to the unsung heroes of the Christmas season. Meter Elves are not only distinct in their colourful attire, but they pop in change just before the parking inspector turns up and takes away any chance of us being able to afford Christmas shopping.
You’ve got to love it when the worn out tinsel decorations are put up in the CBD. Who cares if we’ve seen them every Christmas for the past 15 years? They just make you feel all warm and snuggly inside.
4. The Floating Christmas Tree
Love it or hate it, the gigantic luminescent Christmas tree that graces the foreshore is definitely unique to Geelong. Catch it at the right time, and you’ll see a light show that runs to your fave Christmas carol.
5. Pop ups at the mall
It’s always a guarantee that you will see kids lining up to see Santa at Westfield, Market Square, Waurn Ponds and Corio Village. Throw in a few abstract pop ups (likely a Frozen themed photo op or ‘make your own reindeer cupcake’ station), and you’re in for a good time.
6. Gift wrapping
Does your gift-wrapping look like your dog puked all over mum’s gift? Never fear, charity gift-wrapping is here! Without fail, there will always be a loyal table of volunteers set up in the mall, ready to wrap your freshly brought gifts for a small donation. For years now they have made the worst gift wrappers in the community look good.
7. Light hunting
Who doesn’t love seeing a house decked out door-to-door with lights? Houses from St. Albans to Corio, and Grovedale to Portarlington always impress, and taking the car out to spot the best wire reindeer, Santa impersonators and nativity scenes in town is a highlight.
Geelong at Christmas-time is madness, especially when the sales start early December. For those of us who lack in the planning department, Christmas Eve is wonderful chaos as we strive to find the cheapest Apple gadget on offer, and race to grab it a la Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way.
9. All the carols
Hark the Herald Angels Sing? Jingle Bells? Silent Night? You’ll be hearing every Christmas carol at least 50 times as stores set up their Christmas departments. Bonus points to Myer for starting this trend in September.
10. Family time
Sunshine, barbecues and beach cricket are quintessential to Christmas in Geelong. The fam bam head down to Eastern Beach or Torquay to cool off, relatives eat and drink way too much, and everyone takes a mid afternoon nap. Perfection.
Written by Jessica Morris