I can't believe that I used to love being in the mall at Christmastime. When I was in high school and college, I used to make arrangements with friends to meet up at the mall on Black Friday and Christmas Eve, when we could, just to roam around in packs and eat junk food all day and watch other people and be around the teeming masses during the busy time of year.
Of course, that was 15+ years ago. Somewhere between high school and parenthood, I developed a kind of combination claustrophobia-enochlophobia that manifests itself most assertively in malls during the holidays. Or perhaps it is just that I hate people -- especially rude, pushy, nasty, hissing people who don't say "please," "thank you," or "excuse me," and who seem to be made entirely of pointy elbows.
But I'm done now; it's all over. No more mall for me until after Christmas. My shopping is done, except for lottery scratchers and gifts that can wait until after the holiday proper. I am still waiting for one package to arrive, and I have a handful of things to wrap, but other than that, it's all over but the crying and the spiked egg nog.
* does the Snoopy dance from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" *