One thing that has continued to surprise me as Christmas approaches is the lack of decoration and "holiday spirit". At home, there's a sort of innate Christmas "feeling" that is absent here. I've walked into only a handful of stores that were playing Christmas music. In the U.S., starting right after Halloween, every single store is decorated and the malls essentially look and sound like Christmas exploded. That's not to say Christmas is totally absent here, but it's definitely a toned-down version of what I'm used to! Here are a few decorations around the city:
Myer, one of the larger department stores, has a window display that people stand in line to see. It reminds me of the Macy's 8th floor in Minneapolis, except much smaller and outdoors.
The Royal Arcade is decked out in garlands and trees. It's one of the most decorated places in the city.
A Christmas greeting on Flinder's Street Station. Despite Australia's decidedly secular culture, there doesn't seem to be much controversy over a huge sign in the middle of the city that bears the word "Christmas".