I went to the mall the other day...a rare trip, unaccompanied, not so much to shop, but to pretend to shop and look at the things or variations of things that I’ve already bought on-line.
I’m not sure if any of that makes sense, but hey...when has that ever mattered and it’s never stopped me before.
I find if I don’t at least make an attempt to do a little mall shopping during the season to be jolly, I feel as if I’m missing out on something.
I mean, other than the overpriced parking.
So I walk the mall, which to be honest is not all that crowded for a late, rainy weekday morning in the height of shopping season, which normally would be just fine with me, but during the Holidays, the more the merrier, especially if you’re hoping to experience super pre-Christmas stress.
There wasn’t even a hint of a line at the hot pretzel counter.
I mean, what’s the fun in not being able to wait on the pretzel line for 35 minutes only to find they don’t have any plain un-buttered, but they can make you one, fresh, if you wait another 10 minutes?
No wait annoyance just doesn’t cut it.
Nuh uh...not during the holidays.
What happened to the “Winter Wonderland” motifs of yesteryear?
Lighted stands of garland stretched from here to there.
Angels dangling from the rafters, being heard on high....
All the glitter and gloss, magic and sentimentality.
Where is it?
What happened to it all?
Now you’re lucky if you find a candy cane stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe.
Oh, sure there’s the odd—and I do mean odd—unidentifiable holiday-ish object placed here and there.
Storefronts might throw some fake snow in their window and possibly a sprig of evergreen here and there.
Not even Santa was safe from the holiday dress down this year as one of the larger chains of mall managers decided that all those elves, Christmas trees and Santa’s sled and workshop setups were passé, and wouldn’t everyone just love to visit Santa in some sort of futuristic egg shape compartment, reminiscent of something that might be found in a cryogenics lab.
Just the new old fashion way, I suppose.
Luckily, that idea didn’t stick, mostly because most parents were afraid of what might become of their kids sugar plum dreams if they sat on some old man’s lap in that environment.
So they dragged all the elves, trees and sleds out of storage and ditched the reanimation tubes.
Now, everyone is happy and you can once again purchase a complete set of “Santa traumatizing your kid” photos...starting at only $24.95.
Of course I did find some holiday cheer at the coffee shop offering those controversial red cups.
Red cups...really? People are getting upset over a red cup?
Some people will complain about anything.
Of course I know, the mall is probably not my element anymore. None of the stores seem to be geared to my demographic.
I mean, I can’t even pronounce most of them. Some of the names are spelled as if they were designed by dyslexics...not that there’s anything wrong with that.
If you’re looking for something that will appeal to you, let alone fit someone my age, the message seems to be...“You might want to try the Army & Navy store in the next town over.”
Not even the Gap—a store, in the past, I could usually find something to suit my taste and fit my middle age frame—had anything that came close to fitting.
But then I realized I had wandered into the Baby Gap rather than the actual Gap, so that made me feel better...plus the hats seemed to fit my peanut head okay.
But don’t let me dampen your holiday shopping spirit.
Leave that to your credit card bills.
Besides, if we really needed the artificial accoutrements of a shopping mall to find true Christmas magic and sentimentality, then what does that really say about any of us.
We all know where to find the true message and warmth of the holidays, every day of the season.
The Hallmark Channel....
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