So, on Sunday I took the kids to visit Santa Claus. We went to our nearby mall, rather than to downtown since I really didn't feel like dealing with downtown traffic. Still it took quite a while to find a spot to park at the mall. I did have a lovely karmic moment though, when, by stopping so a pedestian could cross, I was just in time to get a perfectly placed parking spot.
This mall's Santa area has a policy of only allowing you to take your own pictures IF you buy at least the smallest package from them. I had actually forgotten my camera and wasn't about to pay $20 for likely mediocre pictures, so we just visited with Santa. The girls got to tell him what they wanted, sit on his lap, and received candy canes as they said good-bye. It was all really sweet. We did have to wait quite about twenty minutes in line, but it went fast. I called my sister while we were waiting and the girls both got to chat with her.
We didn't spend ANY money at the mall. It was a nice feeling, actually, to just be there as observers, enjoying the holiday decorations and the smells of cider and hot cocoa and candy canes.