The sound of oncoming jingle bells is growing ever-louder and, can you smell that? The scent of gingerbread is wafting through the air.
Ready or not, the silly season has begun, strap in for two months of snowflakes and songs crooning about the wonders of winter as we sweat our way through another summer under the southern sun.
As per usual, our consumerist overlords are the first to mark the occasion – and we’re not just talking about the untimely arrival of fruit mince pies next to Halloween lollies. Westfield shopping centres across the city are welcoming Santa this weekend with eleven simultaneous parades all with appearances from the big man in red (he really can be everywhere at once!) on November 9.
The festivities kick off at Westfield Eastgardens (9am-10.15am), Westfield Waringah Mall (10.30-11.30am), Westfield Hurstville (9am-10.35am), Westfield Burwood (9.30-10.30am), Westfield Liverpool (10.30-11.30am), Westfield Kotara (8-9.30am), Westfield Parramatta (10.30-11.30am), Westfield Tuggerah (10.30am-12noon), Westfield Hornsby (10-11am), Westfield Chatswood (11am-12noon) and Westfield Mt Druitt (10am-12noon).
The festivities mark the beginning of in-centre jollification across the state, with some modern mix-ups to your stock-standard Santa photography that we’re actually vibing on.
If you’re more about your fur babies than human children (or maybe you have both) you can bring in your best friend for pet photography. Creatures great and small can come in for a family paw-trait with dogs, cats, rabbits and all good bois and good girls welcome – only venomous and prohibited animals are excluded.
Saint Nick will give children with sensory challenges the chance to meet him for a more relaxed photo session with sensitive Santa. Bookings can be made for private, chilled-out meet and greets with subdued lighting and none of the overwhelming music, lights and queues that are part of the usual Santa-palooza.
Bookings fill up quickly for all photography sessions and walk-ins are a no-no, so visit your local centre’s website if you’d like to meet Santa for that perfect pic with your pooch, your little people or your crew.