Is the commercialisation and heady consumerism of Christmas starting to get to you? Are you wondering if there is more to the festive season than endless shopping? It might be time for a reality check.
From December 10 in Melbourne, you can make your way to The Lost Toy Store – a pop-up, artist-designed, thought-provoking installation, at Melbourne Central. This cave-like structure will feature an exhibition of toys found in regions supported by leading humanitarian agency World Vision.
The Lost Toy Store will tell the story of the toys left behind by children forced to flee their homes, shining a light on the plight of the world's 30 million displaced children.
According to World Vision, visitors to The Lost Toy Store "will discover the heartbreak children experience when they leave everything behind and the joy that toys can bring in times of crisis."
The Lost Toy Store will follow the journeys of three toys recovered from emergency response zones. Toys donated by Australian parents and children will also form part of the art installation by award-winning Melbourne artist Emma Davies, creating a thought-provoking display contrasting with the toys from emergency situations.
Located beneath the clock at Melbourne Central shopping centre, The Lost Toy Store is a welcome reminder that Christmas is about more than material gifts.
Families are encouraged to visit The Lost Toy Store between 10 to 23 December to discover the stories behind the lost toys and write a message of hope to children who have lost everything.
Messages will be displayed as part of the exhibit, then sent to children affected by conflict and disaster in World Vision-supported communities.
With Australians expected to spend more than $50 billion in the lead up to Christmas, The Lost Toy Store is just the place to take yourself, your kids and your family to share the true spirit of Christmas.
What a great way to teach our children the importance of gratitude. Because for every child waking up on Christmas morning to a pile of presents, there are many more around the world going without so much more.
The Lost Toy Store will be located under the clock at Melbourne Central from December 10-23.
Visitors are encouraged to share photos and selfies with the installation on social media with the hashtag #LostToyStore.