Well, we made it. We survived the mall at Christmas time.
Was it as crowded as I thought it would be? Yes. Were the people as crazy as I thought they would be? Yes. Did the little Goombas behave the way I expected them to? Yes. Did I come home with a treasure trove of gifts to complete my holiday shopping? NO. I did not come home with one single, solitary gift.
I planned to leave the house by 9:30. We actually got out the door at 10:18. Nice. When we got to the mall, we drove around for almost 15 minutes looking for a parking space that was within 2 miles of one of the entrances. I finally scored by finding someone backing out of one of the "Families with Children" spaces. Yay! I put my blinker on and patiently waited. Just as the other van pulled out of the spot, a huge SUV honked it's horn and swung into the spot from the other direction. What??? Then she gave ME a dirty look. Way to show that holiday spirit.
Once we got into the mall, there was a lot of "I want to sit in the stroller!" "No stroller, Walk!" "Me first!" "I want to touch it!" and "Can I have that?" I spent more time corralling kids than actual looking.
We spent some time in the Playplace to burn off steam. Then we got some french fries and apples to keep us occupied. That lasted a good 15 minutes before Goombas were in and out of the stroller again. At one point, Luigi was lagging behind a little and yelled (quite loudly and clearly) down the way, "Mommy, if you don't slow down and wait for me, I am going to SPANK you! Spank, spank, spank!" Other shoppers snickered as I turned red and wanted to crawl under the closest rack of clothing.
And here is a note for store managers... I know that you like to put lots of fancy things on display for the holidays, because you want customers to show you the money. But--and, maybe you don't realize this--a lot of your customers are moms that have to push strollers around. When you crowd every single aisle of the store with coffee makers and fancy jewelry and Christmas dishes, you are really just asking for trouble. First of all, strollers don't maneuver that well around lots of obstacles. Second, if you put pretty, shiny things within the reach of 2- and 3-year-olds, they are going to touch them. Just something for you to ponder...
After almost 2 1/2 hours of wandering around, bribing Goombas and not finding anything, we decided to call it quits. We loaded back up and headed home. Luigi and Peach asked me to sing Jingle Bells about 3,000 times. Wow, that song gets old after a while.
So, now I am home again, and I have decided the best way to do my Christmas shopping is to sit in front of the TV, with my computer in my lap, and a glass of wine next to me. Now, that is what I call holiday cheer.