I Was Where?

At one time in my life, I spent literally hours at shopping malls. I kept up this habit until we had two small children. By then it was a great way to get out of the house for a few hours and incorporate some much-needed walking into my day. I never really spent much money, but I recall the people-watching and the store windows. At Christmas time, I loved the decorations and the music, the shoppers with the common goal of locating that perfect gift.

Then, for many years, the thought of entering that brightly-lit fray had the power to make me feel as though an elephant was sitting on my chest. The mall was the last place I wanted to be, and during the Christmas season I really wanted to avoid it. My comfy office chair guided me through many years of birthday and Christmas shopping.

I’ve noticed that life seems to travel in full circles. I’m also the person that would always do the opposite of others, not wanting to follow the crowds. If hair was to be short, mine was long, and if curls were the go-to style, I wouldn’t fuss so much to have that bounce. I haven’t told my family this, but the other day when I was contemplating the painting of our house, two sides one color and two sides of another color flashed through my head. After all, people don’t normally decide to do this to their homes. (And, if you live in a neighborhood with rules, you may not be allowed to do this!) I just know that our house has been the same color for over ten years now, and I want something different and unique, but all in good taste…of course!

So maybe that is the greater reason that I found enjoyment in not one, but two days at two malls…all in the same week! That, or the company I was with. It was also an excellent way to get that walking in! Because I was having such a good time, I even had my picture taken a few times…also a rarity. Thank you to my husband and our youngest for two fun days. It reminded me of why I once spent many hours at the mall, and shopping. The picture below is actually at Home Depot. I’ve never looked so good in red!

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I think this is one of my favorite pictures of my husband and me. It just makes me smile. Merry Christmas! May your Christmas shopping be peaceful, enjoyable and those gifts right at your fingertips.

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Shop ‘Til You Drop!

This post was from a year ago. I came across it today and it brought back fond memories of shopping with our two oldest daughters. By the time our son came along, I guess taking three small children to the mall wasn’t such fun anymore. I don’t recall going to the mall very much with three children, and certainly not at Christmas time! But I do remember the lights and decorations, and of course the crowds!

When I was younger…much younger, I used to live at the mall. Well, not really. I absolutely loved the mall and spent many a Saturday there. Once I had children, they had the ‘joy’ of going with me. After all, pushing a stroller and dragging a toddler is a pretty good workout!

I look back at that time period and wonder what that was all about. I didn’t really spend that much money there, especially after the children came along. So it must have been the ambiance. As you know, the atmosphere is really great at a mall!

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Christmas shopping was especially wonderful and exciting. The hour you cruised the parking lot, trying to find a parking spot in walking distance of that cement building rising from the pavement. Lugging out the stroller, diaper bag, and of course the coats. It would be freezing for that ‘walk’ to the mall and then you would have to find a place to ‘stuff’ them when you went back to normal clothing inside. I think our stroller had a weight limit of about 500 pounds, fully loaded! Then you would spend several hours, if not most of the day walking aimlessly along, trying to find a path through the masses of people doing the same.

Again, was this actually enjoyable? For some reason, I used to think so.

I think for me, it was the pull of the people. I have always LOVED to people watch. When I was a child, I could sit in an airport for hours, and sometimes it was about that long waiting for an overdue plane. I would imagine where they were going, if they were traveling alone, etc. People Christmas shopping hold the same allure. I would much rather sit and watch people shop these days, than actually shop. (You save a lot of money that way as well!)

The mall at Christmas time is beautiful. The decorations are always fun to look at, and the music puts you in that holiday frame of mind. But these days, my laptop is my BFF when it comes to shopping at any time of the year. Sounds pretty boring…huh?

I find as I get older, my thoughts are changing, the things I enjoy doing are not the same as they were even a few years ago. And I think that’s good and just fine. Many of us could not maintain the pace of our younger years. No, I still don’t want to become a couch potato and never go out, but I don’t enjoy being part of the crowd as much as I used to.

So, I reflect this morning over my young adulthood of shopping. I didn’t go to the mall this year, even though my husband tried to get me there this past Saturday. A couple of stores was about all I could handle. Most of my shopping was done from the comfort of my office at home. I could pull up sales and items from anywhere. They came right on time to my back door. I wrapped them in the comfort of my home, listening to Christmas music on Pandora. And I’m done…well in time for Christmas Day. Now that’s MY kind of shopping!