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My introduction to holidays at the mall

Being a toddler it always took some time to adjust to a new kind of area I wasn't familiar with. A relative's house, a daycare, maybe even a dentist office. But as for a shopping mall I never would have expected to have a sense of bliss so soon on some of my first visits. My parents usually went back and forth with going to two different malls in the area of Virginia, The Chesapeake Square Mall, and the Greenbrier Mall, with the Greenbrier Mall being closer to us.

The Greenbrier Mall also seemed to be the most visited, having two floors of stores, and most remembered.

I was just around the age of five as of 1992, seeing a huge, bustling interior of grown ups, kids around my age, and teens possibly asking their parents for their credit cards. Me on the other hand? I couldn't keep my head still looking at all of the stores, novelties and other unfamiliar things that caught my eye. Sure I may have already seen toy stores, clothing and apparel, and hobby shops, but not all in the same area.

Since we lived in a lowly mobile home trailer as they handled the rent well, my parents would take us out at least a few times a month. Our first time there, well, MY first time was just a few weeks before the holiday season, so I was at least able to get a sneak peek at what was to come. On our second visit, I was in for a surprise.

The roads of the mall were paved with Christmas decor, from wreaths to giant hanging ornaments and at the center of it all was a line where kids would get to ask for their most thought gift to have on December 25th. I was a bit nervous at first, it was my first time sitting on the lap of a mall Santa, but at the same time I was eager to ask what I wanted to have most.

After some waiting time of my mom coming back from the clothing store I was ready to go up and talk to him while my parents were outside of the waiting line. One of the hottest toys at the time for me were Nerf guns, and the fun of sticking darts to what I could for targets, whether it was my older sister's posters she had up on her bedroom wall, or knocking over some cans outside, I had only my gift on the mind.

My gift idea was already down, I just needed to get an annoying booger out of my nose first.

The mall Santa laughed as he saw me digging for gold, but he understood that what was in my nose was getting on my nerves so he handed me a piece of tissue paper to dispose of it, then shyly I looked away, asking for a Nerf gun set, and just as I wished, I got what I wanted just as Christmas arrived, hoping I would go back there again soon to ask for more as I looked at my new toys with the biggest smile on my face. And who wouldn't be?

And that was my introduction to the holidays at the mall. As years passed, I only wondered what I could ask for, at least if I didn't get carried away looking at what I could potentially take home (or afford).

What are your memories of seeing Christmas decorations and a mall Santa for the first time at a mall? Leave a comment and, I'll see you next year!

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Benjanime Posted on Jan 15, 2022 at 04:52 PM


honestly it's my favorite time to go, sadly i don't think it has the same impact as it did when i was a kid, but still nice to see a new generation of kids getting excited to go on a mall santa's lap to ask for gifts :)

onipar Posted on Jan 15, 2022 at 04:11 PM

Good stuff! Haha, and great picture. :-p I actually *only* got to go to the mall around Christmas (until we moved from Brooklyn in 1993). Around the holidays my dad would drive us out to the Rockaway Mall, and yeah, all of my memories of the mall at that time were Christmas-related. Malls and Christmas went hand-in-hand until my teens.

Mr Magic Posted on Dec 18, 2021 at 11:37 PM

Malls always seem to be the "In" place at Christmas. Not just due to the sales, but because of the festive decorations. They're so appealing

Benjanime Posted on Dec 10, 2021 at 10:42 PM


yeah, it's crazy to know that even when you're young, you still develop that wanting of buying whatever you see lol


i would have loved going there every day i could ^^ thank you for reading, my sweet muffin ❤ happy holidays!

Julie Posted on Dec 10, 2021 at 10:37 PM

The first Christmas decoration in a mall I remember seeing was when I was eight: after the classroom, I went to the mall everyday alone (it was a time when human trafficking didn't exist). So I could marvel everyday at those wonderful decorations, and going to all the toy stores to look at every toy I dreamed to have. I did that for the whole year; it was unforgettably magical to me.

You look so cutie on the photo, my sweetheart @Benjanime!❤❤ Happy Holidays!

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 10, 2021 at 08:17 PM

Malls truly do go all out to give you that holiday spirit... because that equates to dollars! Still, it makes for some nice memories.

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