Rabbits, a cat, and is that a yabby in Myer’s 2021 Christmas windows?

Lorinska Merrington has happy memories of going to Melbourne CBD to see the Myer Christmas Windows as a child.

The 37-year-old mother of two had some idea how excited her daughters, Penelope, 5, and Florence, 2, would be to see the 2021 windows, so she didn’t tell them they were going until Sunday morning.

Window on tradition: Lorinska Merrington and daughters Penelope, 5, and Florence, 2, on the first day of the 2021 Myer Christmas Windows in Bourke Street Mall. Credit:Chris Hopkins

“If I’d told them the night before, there was no chance they would have got into bed,” she said.

Cold and rainy weather on Sunday didn’t deter people, including the Merringtons, from viewing what has been a Melbourne tradition since 1956, and that has continued through the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this year’s Christmas windows, which will be open daily from 7.30am to 10pm until December 24, comedian Magda Szubanski is narrating Beatrix Potter’s classic story The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Created over 12 months by Myer and Stage ONE Productions, the characters across six windows include 19 rabbits, rabbit-hating gardener Mr McGregor, a cat, birds, mice, goldfish, ducks and insects.

Crowds braved a cold day to see the Myer Christmas windows.Credit:Chris Hopkins

More than 3000 leaves, vegetables and flower petals were individually drawn, cut, shaped and hand painted.

There are over 100 individual animated movements, such as a rabbit’s ear pricking and a cat’s tail flicking.

Mrs Merrington, a star of reality TV series Yummy Mummies, is paid by Myer to promote the Christmas windows. Her mother, Heather Anderson, worked at Myer, in cosmetics, for decades.

Mrs Merrington said that seeing the Christmas windows a child, “I remember pressing my face up against the glass, pointing and screaming and saying ‘Mum, Mum, did you see that’?

“And now to do it with my two little girls, it’s so magical, it’s the most nostalgic feeling,” she said.

Five-year-old Penelope Merrington claimed to see a yabby in one window, but liked the cat scene the best.

It was the first time two-year-old Florence comprehended the Christmas windows and “she was squealing the whole time, she was mesmerised”, Mrs Merrington said.

Myer’s director of stores, Tony Sutton, said “Myer’s iconic Christmas windows are loved by the Australian community, with generations of parents and children making the annual trip into the city to experience the excitement, wonder and joy that they bring”.

“We are excited to mark the end of a difficult 24 months with the pure magic and nostalgia of The World of Peter Rabbit.”

A Myer spokeswoman said staff will oversee COVID-safe measures at the windows, such as social distancing and cleaning of hard surfaces.

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