O Come Emmanuel.

While Acerules and I were in Melbourne city the other day, we wandered into the Royal Arcade, and a church, both built in the Victorian era.

At the Royal Arcade it was peak Christmas shopping period. My daughter “Acerules” shown at top right, liked the chocolate cat. Knowing her willpower, it would be eaten very quickly! The figures of the Queen had a waving hand.

All photos are copyright Runningonempty.

Shopping isn’t the real meaning of Christmas, though. It’s the birth of Jesus, and sharing that joy with others, however you do it in your part of the world. Here are some shots I took of St Augustine’s Catholic Church in the city prepared to welcome the Christ child. In the nativity (crèche) is an empty coolamon, waiting for the baby to be placed in it. That is a wooden receptacle used by the Australian aboriginals for thousands of years to carry and store things and large ones held babies. From our Outback honeymoon, I brought back a large one to my mother, who worked with babies.

There is also an advent wreath. This has three purple candles, lit for the first three weeks, and a rose one for the fourth week of advent. At the last Mass before Christmas the priests wear rose vestments.

My post about St Augustine’s church on my previous blog:


This article tellsabout the exhaustion of retail workers during the Victorian period:


Christmas in Harrods and Selfridges, London:






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