It's coming - you can feel it in the air. If you need to kick-start the Christmas spirit, now is a good time to visit your city. Yes, I know, the jostling crowds can be terrible, but they are all part of the plan.
We took a trip to the city a few days ago and headed straight for the Queen Victoria Building. This is our first Christmas back in Sydney for many years and stepping into this gloriously restored building brought it all back in an instant.
You are immediately filled with wonderment when you lay eyes on the gigantic Christmas tree in the centre of the building.
It soars from the ground floor, through the middle section of the building,
ending under the domed ceiling.
It's Santa's cave of choice ...
... and he has a queue of children anxious to assure him that they have been very good indeed.
It's always a mecca for shoppers, but at this time of the year it really pulls out all stops.
I love licorice allsorts. I also love these bags. Sigh.
Beautifully illustrated classics by Australian artist Robert Ingpen
Earlier in the day we ventured to Bondi Junction on the other side of the city. As part of our Christmas tradition, we were on our annual pilgrimage to buy a tinned panettone, and discovered that some were available at the Norton Street Grocer, one of our favourite browsing spots.
It will be opened in the week leading up to Christmas and if we plan carefully, the last slice will be eaten for breakfast on Christmas morning - or earlier, whichever comes out on top, greed or restraint.
It will then join its predecessors above the kitchen cupboards, if we can make room.
Christmas is coming - you can feel it in the air.