by Christmas Freak
It’s so gauche to like malls these days. Why? They contain the entirety of Christmas, broken down into its individual components and displayed year-round—gifts, cinnamon buns, cards, ribbons, fancy paper—only pre-wrapped and not free. While everyone else is going on a hike or engaging in intellectual activity this weekend, I’ll be gliding across the white tile floors of my local mall without shame. I’ll be sampling all of the perfume in the department store and sitting in the massage chairs at Brookstone for as long as I desire and riding the escalators up and down and up and down. The best parts of life are the ones that bring us pleasure.
Though the Mall has yielded some to the tiny screen of on-line browsing and shopping, IT has been “the other institution” outside of school where kids learn the rich spectrum of tactile, visual, olfactory and auditory experiences. Where else can you feel the exquisite softness of a plush sweater, wobble on a pair of 6 in heels, squint so intently at chip of glass dangling from your ear lobes, pinch yourself on a fleeting resemblance to the likes of a star or scream you heart out at an arcade screen driving over a moonscape terrain without license, all at almost no cost…until you make the hard computed calculation to splurge $1 on a lip gloss.
Above and beyond the grand experience was always a more deliberate and purposeful undeclared mission. All the while, in your mind’s eyes, the roster of goodies shuffled until you rest on a short-list for that mythical denizen of the North Pole. And on that winter morning the chimneys were left open, and the hopes of an entire year rested on a glass of milk, a cookie and a friendly note.
“They” always tell you that it is not the destination that matters most, but the journey itself…and if it is true, then Malling is a true journey in its own right, as every teenager and beyond would attest to. I am with you.