December 20, 2013

I went to the mall

Oh, the humanity. Somehow I thought that if I went to the mall on the day of an ice storm - on a workday, it might not be busy there.  This was, I reasoned, the best possible day to go. I would go, it would be fast, I could go to the five stores I needed really quickly, and I would be out. 

Listen carefully.  I was wrong. So wrong. I was so wrong you should never ever listen to me and my reasoning again if it matters to you how things turn out at all.  There were a million people there. They were all buying what I was buying and there were queues that snaked through the place like some monstrous boa, coiled around the men's underpants display as though it were sated on my hopes and dreams.  I saw one lady crying. She was just walking though the mall crying and you know what? I get it.  I was crying on the inside.  I am not going back there for a year, you hear me? I'm not doing it. Even Santa's elves looked like they were right on the edge of a rampage, and the whole place had the feeling of a powder keg.  I'm probably lucky I got out before it blew. 

I left without getting one thing, but I couldn't take it anymore.  There's no way I needed that thing more than I needed to get out of there.

I'm going to knit now.

PS: Check out this gift for knitters.  Cool, eh? There's a few sizes and colours, and thanks to go Julia C. for finding it.  Good eye.  I tell you, they didn't have that at the mall. 

Posted by Stephanie at December 20, 2013 2:13 PM

Welcome back from the edge! Knit and relax. Or order on-line, print a picture and give the recipient that on Christmas. Then give them some of Sam's gingerbread cookies. They will totally understand your need for sanity.

Posted by: Milissa at December 20, 2013 2:33 PM

I haven't been to the mall in years...especially at Christmas. I had panic attacks that I don't need...
And now you know why I don't go. Mail order or homemade...that's it from me. I'm going home from work to knit. No malls for me.Merry Christmas? NOT at the malls!

Posted by: Kathy at December 20, 2013 2:34 PM

Oh, the entertainment.

Posted by: Presbytera at December 20, 2013 2:34 PM

I'll never forget one year when I had the flu at Christmastime and was home alone feeling sorry for myself. I thought if I got out to the mall I would feel better, just to see other humans. It was horrible: lots of people in groups, not talking to each other, not buying just wandering around looking miserable, no one was happy to be there or to be with their friends and family. I went home to my peaceful house and learned that alone and relatively happy is lots better than in an unhappy group. Malls are not the place to be happy. You are better off being with the ones you love even if it means you didn't get all the presents for them you wanted to. They have YOU!

Posted by: celeste at December 20, 2013 2:36 PM

Wow is about all I can say...and I'm glad we do not have huge shopping malls here....that poor woman

Posted by: Melissa in Fairbanks at December 20, 2013 2:37 PM

I made a scheduled trip a couple of weeks ago. I basically set aside the day, and it worked okay. (I think it helped that in Florida, what does really well are shopping centers, where all the stores are separate and you walk outside from one to the other. Traditional malls are actually really struggling.) I went to about six stores in four hours and got everything I'd come for, but I did it so I'd only have to do it once.

Of course, at this point, I'm discovering that I think I need at least one more skein of the yarn I purchased there for my mom's Christmas gift. Which has to be done by Monday or it won't go with my brother on the plane to my parents' house. This is presenting something of a conundrum.

Posted by: Stardancer at December 20, 2013 2:42 PM

Know exactly how you feel about the mall. It's why I live in downtown Kingston within walking distance of everything I need. OK, I go to mall about once a year for socks and underwear, but that's it, and NEVER close to Xmas. You were smart to leave!

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 20, 2013 2:42 PM

Received that same candle last night from one of my favourite knitting people.
Knitting people "get" knitting people! :-)
The Mall and elves aren't quite so burned out up Newmarket way...
Good luck with the "list". Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Lynn at December 20, 2013 2:45 PM

Oh, honey, I've been there! {{hugs}}

Posted by: TimWarp at December 20, 2013 2:47 PM

Wise decision to leave the mall; they can be soul-destroying places. I love the candle and just may run (or slide) to our local Indigo to pick one up as an early present for myself. I complain a lot about how Indigo has sold out and is not a real bookstore any more, but sometimes it is a good place to be. I loved your comment yesterday about candy-canes; I thought I was the only person left who prefers the traditional flavour! A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and everyone at your house, and to knitters everywhere!

Posted by: Cathy at December 20, 2013 2:50 PM

What were you thinking?! It was madness, madness I tell you. Glad you are back safely. Hope the crying lady is better now. It shouldn't be this way...

Posted by: CJ at December 20, 2013 2:53 PM

I heard the explosion out here in Seattle. I am so glad you made it out alive and knitting! Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Ann at December 20, 2013 2:56 PM

Oh great. I've got to drag myself to Target tomorrow morning for the last minute stuff. I was dreading it & now I'm truly dreading it.

Posted by: Samina at December 20, 2013 3:01 PM

Sadly, there are no knitters on my Christmas list - if there were, I would know exactly what to get for them. And it isn't at the mall, either. I try very hard to avoid the mall and the streets around it from Black Friday to at least Twelfth Night...
On the other hand, the fact that my Christmas list is full of non-knitters means that I can knit for them!
And lastly - thanks so much for including the Hornshaw swift in your list of gifts for knitters. My husband bought it for me and it's sitting on my dining table looking like a musical instrument! So beautiful!

Posted by: uptownknitting at December 20, 2013 3:02 PM

Zehrs has 'knitted' ceramic mugs, bowls, etc.... They are not expensive either

Posted by: Dara at December 20, 2013 3:03 PM

Zehrs has 'knitted' ceramic mugs, bowls, etc.... They are not expensive either.

Posted by: Dara at December 20, 2013 3:04 PM

I was wondering if you were going to get to "the mall". At this point, most retail locations are filled with frantic people...

However, if you go to the mall for underwear and similar could have shopped much, much earlier (like around back to school time) and probably gotten better deals too!

(She says who went to the mall to buy her menfolk "technically superior underwear" for more than I would pay for lace and silk ones for me...just sayin'!).

Posted by: Leslie F at December 20, 2013 3:07 PM

I'm feeling really bad for that poor woman, too. I went to Walmart today expecting the worst, but it was amazingly not bad. A register was just opening with no one around, so I didn't even have to wait in line. Sorry, don't mean to rub it in. Now I have an afternoon of wrapping planned. I'm enjoying your posts. Thanks and Happy Holidays to you and all the blog!

Posted by: Jana in TX at December 20, 2013 3:08 PM

The crazy at the mall is why online shopping is so popular. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and healthy, happy New Year even without the "thing".

Posted by: Diane in IN at December 20, 2013 3:18 PM

Another mall-avoider here (raises hand). If for any reason I find that I HAVE to go to a retail establishment at this time of year, I go at dinner (supper? whatever you call the evening meal in your locale) time. There seems to be a lull then. Of course, now that I've let the secret out, you all will choose that time, too. But it's ok because you are all knitters, and knitters are nice ;)

Posted by: Kathy at December 20, 2013 3:22 PM

to Dara at 3:04 - what's Zehrs? When I tried to lookit up, it was a grocery store....thanks!

Posted by: Helen SF at December 20, 2013 3:22 PM

Steph, I feel your pain. My personal rule is that I don't go near a mall from Dec. 1 until January 1. If I absolutely need it, whatever IT is, it doesn't come from a mall. Glad you survived to knit another day!

Posted by: Carol at December 20, 2013 3:25 PM

I unfortunately go to the mall on a pretty regular basis, but none of those times are from Thanksgiving to Christmas. You are a brave woman to even make the attempt.

Posted by: Seanna Lea at December 20, 2013 3:36 PM

See, that's what happens when you have a car - you go to the mall.
On a knitting note, there are tons of faux-cable things in catalogues this year - candles, cups, candle holders, pillows, poofs, even flannel sheets with photo-realistic cables (Company Store?
Pottery Barn? One of those places.)

Posted by: Mary K. in Rockport at December 20, 2013 3:37 PM

I don't mall ever any more. We have lots of local arts and crafts fairs, and lots of small businesses, and if a person wants/needs a mall-ish item I just give them cash. Tied in a bow.

Posted by: Lynn at December 20, 2013 3:37 PM

I need to rant. we need to stop this madness. we put too much pressure on ourselves to have Christmas/holiday gifts and everything "nice" after all, we want to enjoy the holidays, not torture ourselves. it's about family, friendship and nurturing a good spirit, not about the stuff. I start Christmas knitting in July, and my shopping in August. and I don't give many gifts either - certainly not to all the family - they can have little things throughout the year.

Posted by: Risa at December 20, 2013 3:39 PM

I made a rule for myself a few years ago- never go into a shopping centre/mall after 31st October.Sure, it requires a bit of creative shopping online, and a bit of forward thinking, but it is so worth it!

Posted by: Dee at December 20, 2013 3:40 PM

I've managed to do my Christmas shopping without going to a mall, but it took me 4 stores yesterday to find a low sodium turkey for Christmas dinner and I was almost in tears after the 3rd. Hugs!

Posted by: Joni at December 20, 2013 3:43 PM

Oh you brave, foolish woman. I think copious egg nog may help you recover.

Posted by: Laurie at December 20, 2013 3:46 PM

I work nights and weekends. I've had the exact experience any time I've gone to the mall this month. Where did all these people come from who usually are at work when I get my shopping done? Did they take time off work TO shop? And no bitter cold will ever stop them.

That candle is stunning!

Posted by: Liz at December 20, 2013 3:51 PM

Amen, sister!! I have tried hard to stick to our downtown shops for my gift buying... but I have a sinking feeling I may have to get in the car and head over to the mall in the next town soon... waaaaaaaah

Posted by: christine m east of toronto at December 20, 2013 3:58 PM

Heard an ad on the radio today for a was saying their mall was the perfect place to spend time as a family, enjoying shopping together for holiday gifts...seemed like a reach to me!

Posted by: Bonnie at December 20, 2013 4:01 PM

My younger son was looking for something he could afford to get me--that is beyond perfect, thank you. And you're a brave woman for going near a mall--it would take pounds of qiviut to bribe me to go there right now. Okay, maybe ounces.

Posted by: AlisonH at December 20, 2013 4:09 PM

Please accept my apology on behalf of all of us on the blog who have kids.
Someone really should have warned you it was a PD day today.

Posted by: Emily at December 20, 2013 4:09 PM

Stephanie, next year I plan to remind you that it is time to go to the mall on September 25. That should avoid the crowds. . .

Posted by: ElizabethD at December 20, 2013 4:26 PM

Today I made the mistake of just going NEAR the mall and that was bad enough. Someone should tell the people in charge of scheduling roadwork near the mall that if it's not an emergency, they should really wait until AFTER the holiday shopping season.

Posted by: Peggy at December 20, 2013 4:44 PM

What about Hanks shopping? Yokes

Posted by: Jennifer at December 20, 2013 4:54 PM

Have you seen this FedEx commercial? Knitting run amok! :-)

Posted by: Kate/Massachusetts at December 20, 2013 5:02 PM

I work in an office building that is right across from one of the best malls in our city. I can't wait until December 26. Then, most of the shoppers will have returned to their part of the city.

Posted by: Melissa at December 20, 2013 5:11 PM

SdqJPI Muchos Gracias for your article post.Much thanks again. Awesome.

Posted by: seo thing at December 20, 2013 5:33 PM

Amen. In an effort to keep my dollars in the community, I tried shopping locally. After trying 3 stores to find the one thing I wanted (and failing), I came home and ordered online. Amazon, FedEx, and UPS have my name on speed dial. May the merriness continue.

Posted by: georgia at December 20, 2013 5:43 PM

Do not wait a year before you go back. That will just land you in the exact same soup. Wait 11 months. Or 13. Anything not divisible by twelve, up to and including infinity.

Posted by: Kate Y. at December 20, 2013 6:00 PM

Malls are evil. I use to work in a mall and this time of year is basically insane and not really merry. There is no goodwill for men in the parking lot. There is no goodwill for men in the Santa picture line, or food court, or the dressing room (this is where people go to sob), or the stores themselves. In fact, the only place where I found goodwill for men was in the employee breakrooms. Fellow employees that you didn't even know would ask how it was going out there and lend an ear. And sometimes there would be treats. :)

Posted by: Gina at December 20, 2013 6:02 PM

Helen SF at 3:22, yes, Zehrs is a grocery store in the Loblaw group of companies, like Fortino's, Great Canadian Superstore etc. West of the GTA, Loblaws become Zehrs. They do have some cool gifty-type items at Zehrs. When I moved to Guelph from Toronto, Zehrs became my go-to store.

Posted by: Julie at December 20, 2013 6:10 PM

...the mall is why I shop online these days. People are stupid this time of year....and the mall makes internal, hidden insanity break loose!
Knit Steph...KNIT!! It's all that is left us!


Posted by: B. Rickman at December 20, 2013 6:15 PM

I really have to learn not to read your blog and take a drink at the same time...snorting tea does not feel good!

Posted by: rachel at December 20, 2013 6:19 PM

Yeah but did you get the Screech?

Posted by: Claire at December 20, 2013 6:40 PM

Do NOT go to the mall in December. Figure out what you need well in advance...go before the first weekend in December then, don't worry about it anymore!

Posted by: TracyP at December 20, 2013 6:40 PM

About the cable knit candle thingie. What happens when you light the candle? I must be missing something. I don't do malls, Kiva gift cards and a whole lot of knitting. But I'm not there yet, still more knitting. But I get to listen to lovely music, drink tea and enjoy the peace.

Posted by: Sue at December 20, 2013 7:09 PM

**Evil laughter**
Sorry. I know exactly what you mean... but in the old days I used to go to the mall just before Xmas - with all my Xmas preparations done it was sort of exhilarating to be there and NOT stressing.

The last time we did this was when our first child was 2yo and #2 was supposed to arrive Any Day (my husband, Mr NeverEverStress, was trying to distract me... she was finally born 1/8). Now, with 6 kids, I try not to go in any stores, mall or otherwise, unless Mr NeverEverStress is with us. Grocery shopping is a weekly challenge!

I'm never that Done with Xmas preparation anymore either. (like laundry and dishes...)

I like the attitude of the fabric stores: Xmas in July sales. If only I were organized enough to do it *then*!

Posted by: Kerridwen at December 20, 2013 7:09 PM

I'm so sorry and I feel your pain. Last night, I decided to make a few stops on my way home. This should have taken me less than 45 mins. It took 1-1/2 hours because of traffic. The actual stops weren't that painful.

Speaking of knitter gifts, I had forgotten about this little gem:

Posted by: Diane at December 20, 2013 7:17 PM

Dude. I have 2 words for you: Amazon Prime.

You can get anything on there. And while I love to support local businesses (and I DO, Oh yes indeed).

Whatever you need at the mall is most likely not a local business, so yeah. Amazon. It is a Christmas Miracle my friends.

Posted by: Sharon at December 20, 2013 7:31 PM

This is on the subject of "knitters' gifts". On an earlier post you mentioned the Strauch ball winder . . . I probably shouldn't have checked it out . . . but I did. I have a middle big birthday in 2 weeks and I decided to give myself a birthday present. Got it today and I practiced with a skein of Dream in Color worsted. And it is a dream winder! I'm so glad I read your blog that day. Good luck with all your Christmas stuff.

Posted by: Barby at December 20, 2013 7:39 PM

I was at a 'boutiquey' mall on Tuesday. Meeting step-daughter for lunch who is PG; as is her twin sister. My deadline for the knitting part was the end of November - per her father. All done, wrapped, and given. I shopped, but once I saw the line to the cashier, I was out of the stores. No way, no how!
So sorry for you!

Posted by: bam at December 20, 2013 7:43 PM

Oh boy, you didn't go to the Eaton Centere did you? I live in NJ, where malls are considered an art form, and I was totally overwhelmed by the Eaton Centre. I couldn't imagine stepping foot in that place at Christmas!

Posted by: Becky at December 20, 2013 7:48 PM

Thank you Julie - I live in the San Francisco area, so I'd never heard of it.

Posted by: Helen SF at December 20, 2013 8:00 PM

What Sharon @ 7:31 said. Shopping Nirvana.

Posted by: refhead at December 20, 2013 8:11 PM

Knit on. And relax. The ice is building up out there already. Your yard may turn into one giant ice lantern, all by itself.

Posted by: Jo-Anne at December 20, 2013 8:20 PM

Just found those candles yesterday at Fred Meyer. Too cool.

Posted by: Cindy H at December 20, 2013 8:24 PM

Here's a hint: start shopping in July. Oh, it's a two-part hint. Second part: Never, I repeat never go to a mall in the week before Christmas. You will only make yourself insane. I have read your blog, I rest my case.

Posted by: Heather at December 20, 2013 9:10 PM

I am NOT a mall-favorable person, especially at this time of year. Should I need anything from a mall store, I order it online. That leaves my evenings free for knitting!

Posted by: Debra at December 20, 2013 9:33 PM

Hi-- be sure to check out the "Google Doodle" on the Google's homepage tomorrow as it will celebrate the winter solstice with an animated knitting doodle!

Posted by: Jill C. at December 20, 2013 9:37 PM

I'm with Bonnie.
I have lived in New England, Florida and Arizona and when I went to the Malls in each location they all had the same stores and the same merchandise. What's the point?
I had a married friend w/o children that had all her Christmas shopping done and wrapped by Halloween. She loved to entertain and go to Xmas parties and with all the shopping out of the way she really enjoyed Christmas. After she had 2 children I asked if she still had presents wrapped by Halloween and she said "no way!". She pointed out to me that if she wanted to get something basic, a white turtleneck sweater for her sister. She could easily find in the right style in the right size in September. No way in December! One Xmas I did the majority of my "shopping" in an old fashion hardware store. I got everyone useful stuff.

Posted by: Just Me at December 20, 2013 9:44 PM


Posted by: Penelope at December 20, 2013 9:51 PM

I can empathize and I decided that I was going to get that candle no matter how much the shipping costs, I'm feeling that sorry for myself. It really brightened my day (no pun intended.) Thanks.

Posted by: May at December 20, 2013 10:49 PM

Friday is bad enough for shopping, but the Friday before Christmas? Impossible. Maybe if you were there the moment the doors opened, but it would still be tough getting through checkout.

Posted by: =Tamar at December 20, 2013 11:47 PM

Nope. I don't do that any.more. I quit 35 years ago when I was looking at what you experienced today with an 18 mo old and being 8 months pregnant...with a husband who was constantly traveling for work. Nope. I started in Sept; enjoyed the shopping; had everything done by Nov. 1st; and enjoyed the holidays like never before. Never went back to the craziness.

Posted by: drleonesse at December 20, 2013 11:48 PM

Are you nutz??? No one in their right mind - this is supposed to include ALL knitters - would venture into a MALL this time of year. If you must shop, go to a yarn store. Shop at a Drug Store or Grocery Store in the morning only or at 2:15 in the afternoon. Everyone else is in the mall or picking up kids. If you really must, Wallmart is open all night. I actually did the Wallmart run one year as an act of charity - TWO days before Christmas. That's when my poor friend got her support cheque & I took her shopping at 2 in the morning. NO ONE WAS THERE. You could tell the Clerks didn't want us there either but we did our thing successfully.

Posted by: Sharon in Surrey(Can) at December 21, 2013 12:08 AM

I avoid shopping malls like the plague around Christmas. Actually, I avoid them generally these days. I go insane trying to find a car park - I can remember parking my car most of a kilometre away from a mall in Melbourne just before Christmas. I had to go there as it was the only place I could get a certain item...

Posted by: Lynne S of Oz at December 21, 2013 12:09 AM

My son and daughter-in-law just came back from Dubai. They say if you have been in one of the malls there you will never ever be afraid of the malls in Germany - or Canada, I suppose!

Posted by: Hilde at December 21, 2013 12:19 AM

oh, that was a good move. BTW, I picked up some wonderful knitter's gifts from your links...he he. Very very cute stuff on etsy for my knit-sisters!

Posted by: cecelia at December 21, 2013 12:27 AM

I absolutely have to agree with Sharon at 7:31 pm. I totally support local businesses, as I was raised on the income of one. HOWEVER, Christmas shopping at the mall is the worst, even though I try to stick with Target (who honestly dislikes Target? Seriously?). Amazon is the way to go. My kids are very specific about the things they want (a clarinet ornament. . .) and it's easier found on Amazon than anywhere else. Plus, I don't have to leave the house to hunt for it!

Meanwhile. . . Happy Solstice!!! ❄️☀️❄️☀️❄️☀️
Our Unitarian church is having a bonfire celebration tomorrow night, whether permitting . Happy Solstice. happy Yule, and blessed be.

Posted by: Erin at December 21, 2013 12:44 AM

This is why I knit people gifts: so I no longer have to go to the fricking mall.

Posted by: Suzanne at December 21, 2013 1:36 AM

Oh please, look at Google, there are hands knitting the word. Yeah. Today I am starting an old fashioned turtleneck/rollcollar, the Saints (remember?) way. It will be seated on two rectangles, one in front about 7 inches and one in back 4 inches and over the shoulders 3 inches. Imagine a favourite tutyleneck sweater, which is beond repair (armpits, waistborder etc and of course the cuffs, but the neck is still good. You could cut said rectangles after doing the steeking thing on the machine. Or knit one, like I will do. It will keep your neck warm and cosy and give you a chance to tie shawls, stoles etc. loosely. I am going to knit a jarcover to make a candlelike candyholder with battery"flame" inspired by the real +knitted"candle for a friend, thank you for the inspiration.

Posted by: dutch margreet at December 21, 2013 2:50 AM

Dear Yarn Harlot, you need to do your Christmas shopping after the Sales finish in January..... or at the very latest, by the end of July.
And if you absolutely MUST brave the crowds, make a list and get there 45 minutes before closing time when the carparks are thinning out. Works a treat, especially if you ring the shops first and ask them to put what you want aside to await collection.
Better luck next year.

Posted by: Maureen at December 21, 2013 2:58 AM

Try to go earlier in the year - before Thanksgiving - the lines are not nearly so bad. Could you find somewhere else to buy those things, like online, or in little out-of-the-way boutique stores that don't involve going to the mall? I bet if you casually dropped a hint into your blog sometime around June that you will be looking for a particular thing for a gift, you'll get a bunch of non-mall shopping options from your readers. :-)

Posted by: Deb at December 21, 2013 4:05 AM

I made the mistake of going to Costco one year on the 23rd...insanity. Also, if I go into the Eaton Centre and see a lineup for the escalator, I turn around and walk out again. The idea of lining up just to get to a different floor is beyond my patience threshold.

PS - Glad you liked the candles.

Posted by: Julia C at December 21, 2013 7:41 AM

A number of years ago, my sisters and I decided that we were no longer going to exchange Christmas gifts. I believe that they might exchange with their adult children (1 each), and one sister with her husband. It makes Christmas a lot more sane. I no longer exchange presents with my adult niece and nephew either. Makes it easier for them, especially the years my nephew is stationed somewhere else in the world.

Maybe sitting everybody down early next year and getting them to agree to each draw one name, say in early November - at least all the adults, you could still give all the wee ones something. This would make things quite a bit easier.

Posted by: Kathryn at December 21, 2013 8:06 AM

The Superstore home department has a bunch of bowls and mugs with cable patterns on them. At least, the Whitehorse one does. I assume that means that Toronto ones do too. The stores are a zoo, but if you are going there for groceries anyway....

Posted by: Alice at December 21, 2013 8:23 AM

Never, ever, go to the mall. Way to much humanity, It zaps your psyche.

Posted by: Maureen at December 21, 2013 8:27 AM

Oh my! We need one more present. Hubby was to buy for his niece. nothing like leaving it to the last minute! MEN!
I guess it's cash this

Posted by: Liane at December 21, 2013 8:31 AM

Sorry, Indigo is Chapters, which is in my mall. However, I found one better... handmade beeswax yarn ball candle!!!

Posted by: Laura at December 21, 2013 9:19 AM

I know this doesn't help you this year but I've got two words: Online Shopping.

Posted by: Stephanie at December 21, 2013 9:31 AM

The secret to mall shopping at Christmas is to go late on a Saturday night, after 7:30 or so. The crowds will be mostly gone and you still have a couple of hours to shop.

Posted by: Carron at December 21, 2013 9:57 AM

Here's an example of your reasoning failing you again: if you go back in a year, you will be there again on December 20. Don't do it!!
I had to go to the Sony store at the Eaton's Centre a few years ago, a few days before Christmas. It was so horrible that I got out onto Yonge Street and burst into tears.

Posted by: Patricia Nolan at December 21, 2013 10:00 AM

I once found out that by going to the local mall the moment it opened on Christmas Eve, I could be out of there in under an hour, meeting all the incoming as I left.

Posted by: Susan D at December 21, 2013 10:06 AM

I hear ya. I hate the mall, too. But I went last night around 6:00 and it was not bad! Was able to hit four stores and buy all that I came for in one hour. Whew! Bring on the knitting and wine!

Posted by: Carole at December 21, 2013 10:44 AM

Gina @ 6:02pm: Agreed. I have worked in several malls over the years, though no longer. The larger the mall, the nastier the experience for shoppers and staff alike. Between the surliness, greed and acquisitiveness everywhere, and Anne Murray and Boney M Christmas carols in perpetuity, by the time I went home to celebrate my own Christmas I was completely devoid of any goodwill whatsoever. I would then throw together Christmas Dinner for two families totalling 26 people and rush back to work on Boxing Day into a bedlam of half-price sales, and returns by people for whom the generosity of their families was insufficient. As a microcosm of the worst of human behaviour, anthropologists could hardly do better than study the average shopping mall.

Posted by: StrongCat at December 21, 2013 11:00 AM

I love this post.You never cease to make me smile. What about the gifts you did not buy???????? Are you going to knit them........just kidding., LOL.

Posted by: Amy at December 21, 2013 11:18 AM

Okay, I am crying already...... I am going to the PO to mail my MIL's late gift.
Hugs to everyone still shopping!

Posted by: Jody Hildebrant at December 21, 2013 11:22 AM

You were wise to quickly re-prioritize and get out of the mall. And today will be even more crazy with our multiple ice storms. I'm not even leaving the house. Forget it. Tree, knitting, coffee, dog, movies ... everything I need is right here.
Oh, and I made peppermint bark for the first time. So easy! And omg so delish.

Posted by: Melissa at December 21, 2013 11:25 AM

There's a whole column of knitting looking things on page 75 of the January issue of Canadian Living. All but one item is available on-line. No malls involved.

Posted by: Kari at December 21, 2013 12:20 PM

LOL - we've had "knit" candles at my supermarket for the past two years, now :) It's a tiny mall and totally manageable - want to come here for your Christmas shopping next time?
Except we don't have yarn stores like you do in Toronto… :(

Posted by: MelD at December 21, 2013 12:23 PM

Yup. We've descended into madness. Maybe try again in six months (as a year from now is still just before Christmas). Malls are horrible.

Posted by: Caracastson at December 21, 2013 1:39 PM

I never ever go to the mall. It is a time waster and SCARY. Even knitting can't alleviate symptoms. I can sympathize with the woman you saw crying.

Around here the chaos starts a week or so before Thanksgiving and doesn't end until around the 2nd week of January. Parking is so full that you have to park across the 'street' (an 8-lane road) at a small shopping strip, then cross the 'street' and walk 10+ minutes to the mall. All roads near the mall and Costco must be avoided if one wants to remain sane. Also, the two freeway exits backup in a long snakepile down the right lane of the freeway. It's freakin crazy.

I try to not shop after Black Friday, but I will shop at the day after Christmas sales. My kids actually prefer it because I can buy them more for my $$ and they get to pick everything out - it's a shopping smorgasbord.

I love the knit candle! I love anything that replicates knit stitches - keep the ideas coming. :)

Posted by: Janelle at December 21, 2013 1:43 PM

You DID go to the mall on the best possible day. Except for maybe sometime in October. Or now, but at 2am. If the mall were open then, which, unlike WalMart and a number of other Big Box stores, is not.

Posted by: kmkat at December 21, 2013 2:21 PM

Our mall is scary. I was there last week in the middle of the day, and half the stores were empty. The stores that had customers only had 3 or 4 each. Santa and his assistants were sitting in his workshop texting. And the people staffing the kiosks were watching videos on their iPads.

I'm not sure if this is a sign of our economy, or our changing shopping habits. But I think our mall is dying.

Posted by: Judith at December 21, 2013 3:11 PM

The trick is to go early in the morning. The stores are empty, we stocked and have lots of people to help you. I hit Walmart early this morning and it was fine. Even this shoppers were in a good mood and helping each other out.

Posted by: Stephanie Cole at December 21, 2013 3:39 PM

My advice is to find out how early they open, and go right then. I was at my area's mall Saturday morning at 8am, and it was perfect. A few mall walkers and other early shoppers, easy parking. I was out by 8:40.

Posted by: ruth at December 21, 2013 3:41 PM

I'm one of the 40 million cardholders whose info was hacked at Target. And I thought I was being so smart getting my candles before the onslaught. Go figure. Fortunately my bank is on top of things. Have a wonderful holiday. I'm going to light the candles tonight and think good thoughts.

Posted by: Lois at December 21, 2013 4:19 PM

How about the Sirka counter as a gift for knitters? I've heard good things, and it doesn't take batteries!

Posted by: Anisa at December 21, 2013 6:35 PM

Where's Rams?

Posted by: Cindy T at December 21, 2013 6:43 PM

Two words: mail order

Posted by: Brenda at December 21, 2013 7:16 PM

I don't like malls at the best of times, especially the big ones. Yesterday we went out to a shopping centre so eldest could spend his birthday voucher and Dh wanted to go to the mall afterwards; I told him only insane people go willingly to the mall this close to Christmas; he said "it'll be perfect for us then!" I pointed out that we might be insane but it's the wrong sort of insanity for that. He's gone in today on his pushbike; I'm home with the kids frantically knitting his Christmas present and I'm happy to be nowhere near the place.

Posted by: Rachelle - Warming Crafts at December 21, 2013 8:06 PM

Right here, Cindy T @6:43, convalescing and trying to find two perfect buttons to sew on two Caliometrys so I can block them at the same time as the Norwegian mittens and have them dry in time to wrap...I recommend surgery. No one expects you to go to the mall, and you get plenty of time to knit.

Posted by: rams at December 21, 2013 9:38 PM

I do not enter department stores this time of year. One more chorus of FeliceNavidad could send me over the edge

Posted by: Eva at December 21, 2013 10:50 PM

Speaking as someone who worked in one for *several* holiday seasons, one who's personally witnessed Santa Claus develop over the weeks a look of grim determination tinged with despair, I can tell you with absolute certainty:

You have misspelled "maul".

Posted by: Cactus Wren at December 21, 2013 11:02 PM

Stop doing that! You think you don't go to the mall, but you do, and it's always at this time of year. Just quit.

Had to say, I completely agree with you about gift as a verb (but don't tweet, so saying it here).
And about candy canes. Amen to that.

Posted by: Tracy in Qatar at December 22, 2013 4:13 AM

I live 5 min out of the biggest mall in NJ. Never go there, never any parking, no matter the hour and I just plain hate it. Depressing, overwhelming and ridiculous.

Posted by: nicaam at December 22, 2013 7:16 AM

Thus morning (Sunday) I saw on the Williams-Sonoma website that they have moose, hedgehog and squirrel (no snail, though) cookie cutters for sale. I got some.

Posted by: Sally at December 22, 2013 7:58 AM

Hope you've recovered from your mall experience. My DIL recently sent me a picture of my granddaughters putting letters in a special postbox for Santa. I jokingly asked her what Santa's address is....her

Posted by: Susan at December 22, 2013 8:25 AM

I have not been to any malls. My husband and I are going tomorrow to do our shopping at a tiny hardware store in a charming little village near us. It will not be crowded and we'll be out of there in half an hour. No huge malls and un-joyous crowds for us. We learned our lesson about that shortly after we moved to Mississauga, when we decided that going to Square One here for Christmas shopping would be a good idea. By the way, I loved yesterday's Google doodle, a joy for knitters everywhere. Yes, a scarf knitting doodle! I hope you were able to see it!

Posted by: marjorie at December 22, 2013 8:26 AM

I have those "oh, HAYULL NO" moments about shopping all the time. Especially when I see the Target parking lot is full to the brim. Nope, not going in, not gonna happen, I do not need paper towels that bad. Today, I have to go to the Mall of America. HAVE TO. Because that is where my hairdresser is and this was the only appointment I could get before Christmas and my roots are enough to make poor Santa cry. So, I'm going, and I'm just going to take an Ativan and embrace the chaos. I have no other choice.

Posted by: Jen in MN at December 22, 2013 9:04 AM


Posted by: Presbytera at December 22, 2013 10:58 AM

Really, if things go bad on the knitting front and you need to buy something, at least get online instead of going to the mall - nothing can justify the mall any time in December.

Posted by: M-C at December 22, 2013 1:27 PM

So here's what I want to know: Where are all the salespeople? The stores seem to want to sell things, but they don't get the part where they have to have folks around to take the money. I just don't get it. Several times I've had to ask them to open another register, which they do, but why do I have to ask? And how come I'm the only one who asks?

Posted by: Pam in Boston at December 22, 2013 7:27 PM

Not getting one thing implies that you successfully got 4 of the things. Good job! Now would be the part where I switch from coffee to Scotch. Or put the latter into the former. If not driving, I might consider it as a preliminary step to going to the mall this time of year. Years back, I forgot it was Christmas shopping season (I plan ahead and insulate myself well). It was horrible. I didn't even make it in, just spent an hour trapped in the garage. There was no escape but to wait for the entire chain of cars to glacially snake through the whole thing. I was definitely the sobbing woman, and I didn't even make it inside.

Posted by: Maria at December 22, 2013 8:12 PM is a way too cool gift for a knitter or for a knitter to obtain, trust me, we all need one! Just in case I got the address wrong it is a Sirka counter, at

Posted by: pam sertich at December 23, 2013 12:18 AM

Thee's no need to go back to the mall EVER! You can do all your shopping online. The only person you'll see is the mailman dropping them off at your door. Good luck and think ahead for next year!

Posted by: Bonnie at December 23, 2013 10:42 AM

Yeah, this year I have SWORN by all that I hold holy to start the Christmas knitting in January and the gift shopping in June.

Posted by: Eve at December 23, 2013 11:09 AM

Merry Christmas, Harlot & family (I'm including The Blog)! My plan is to hit the stores after Christmas, and give New Year's gifts. Oh, and I'll finish the knitting on Christmas day, for the co-workers' gifts. I will probably be getting a jump on Christmas 2014, right after I knit up a few items without deadlines.

Posted by: CeltChick at December 23, 2013 12:59 PM

I will go to the mall for you and we can work out a post holiday knitting related trade. Get your list together for 2015.
Should an emergency mall visit be required.....
most malls have restaurants with liquor licenses attached. They understand mall madness. That is why they are there. They provide a calm peaceful environment with fine food and liquid refreshments. A lovely atmosphere to gather one's thoughts, shopping list, and courage.
It is important to patronize these thoughtful establishments.

Posted by: Snow at December 23, 2013 2:28 PM

I will go to the mall for you and we can work out a post holiday knitting related trade. Get your list together for 2015.
Should an emergency mall visit be required.....
most malls have restaurants with liquor licenses attached. They understand mall madness. That is why they are there. They provide a calm peaceful environment with fine food and liquid refreshments. A lovely atmosphere to gather one's thoughts, shopping list, and courage.
It is important to patronize these thoughtful establishments.

Posted by: Snow at December 23, 2013 2:28 PM

I will go to the mall for you and we can work out a post holiday knitting related trade. Get your list together for 2014.
Should an emergency mall visit be required.....
most malls have restaurants with liquor licenses attached. They understand mall madness. That is why they are there. They provide a calm peaceful environment with fine food and liquid refreshments. A lovely atmosphere to gather one's thoughts, shopping list, and courage.
It is important to patronize these thoughtful establishments.

Posted by: Snow at December 23, 2013 2:29 PM

Ohmigod...I laughed myself silly reading this. Thanks for the lift on a gloomy day. Merry Christmas to all!

Posted by: Rose at December 23, 2013 3:12 PM

There was a several year period where I WORKED at the mall during Christmas. so fun. groan. p.s. I know for a fact that mall security guards are not the sissies they are portrayed as in movies. They deal with some shit, believe me.

Posted by: Dina at December 23, 2013 5:12 PM

My worst car trip ever at Christmas was when I was 4 weeks pregnant and car sick all the way from New Jersey to Boston. We had to go by all the traffic near the Connecticut malls, just off the highway, so the trip took ages longer than it ever had before, and forget about knitting in the car!

I'm glad you got 4/5 of what you needed, and that you arrived home safe. Enjoy the rest of Christmas.

Posted by: fibersong at December 23, 2013 11:17 PM

My main plan with Xmas gift shopping is not to do it. I buy good stuff when I'm travelling, not tacky souvenirs, so it's suitable for gifts. Tuck away in in a box until called for. So my relatives get something different, from Turkey or Japan or Scotland or wherever, and I get less stress. Or sometimes I just see stuff in sales or at markets, and buy that. I really recommend this plan. It helps soooo much.

Posted by: Cath of Canberra at December 24, 2013 6:44 AM

You are a brave woman, Stephanie! I hope you are recovered and are now enjoying the holidays with your family!

Posted by: juile at December 24, 2013 8:32 AM

I totally feel your pain. I promised myself not to go near a mall this December and was doing well, but yesterday a stop at Trader Joe's in the vicinity of a mall took one hour and a half, and that was just to park the car. Silly me. You were right to leave...

Posted by: Linda at December 24, 2013 12:41 PM

I don't like malls in general (decided LACK of yarn shops!), but malls during the holidays are TORTURE! So I have discovered the joys of online shopping. 99.9% of this years Christmas gifts were a) bought online, or b) knitted. Now if I didn't have to go to the grocery store two days before Christmas, things would be perfect!

Posted by: Alyson at December 24, 2013 12:56 PM

I don't like malls in general (decided LACK of yarn shops!), but malls during the holidays are TORTURE! So I have discovered the joys of online shopping. 99.9% of this years Christmas gifts were a) bought online, or b) knitted. Now if I didn't have to go to the grocery store two days before Christmas, things would be perfect!

Posted by: Alyson at December 24, 2013 12:56 PM

The local grocery store was zoo-enough for me. Queued up to get in (picked up a buggy in the parking lot!) Once inside, no problems until the checkout ... then the Queue again ... then Queued up to get out.

When they moved the store to this 'specially-dsigned' building, they put a single double door door in a really long wall for the entrance and exit. Lovely bottle-neck for each and every shopper. Don't even get me started on the parking lot. Screwiest paint-job-ever.

I really don't enjoy large shopping venues, and I can only think in the large city you live in that the crowds at a Mall at this time of year would be horrendous.

You made a good choice ... leave and go home to knit!

Hope you, your family and friends have a wonderful holiday.

Posted by: M in NC at December 24, 2013 1:21 PM

Here's hoping you have power and heat! Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Dita at December 24, 2013 2:04 PM

Yes, here's hoping that you and your family are shored up in a warm spot and no obe has been hurt by the ice storm. Happy Christmas.

Posted by: Helen at December 24, 2013 3:08 PM

Merry Christmas Stephanie and may the power stay on and come back on for those that still don't have it.

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Posted by: CARROLLColeen18 at December 26, 2013 9:34 AM

Merry Christmas. Sorry about your experience at the Mall. Here are some tips that can help in the future. Never go to the Mall the three days before Christmas. Everyone who has procrastinated are there. Try to go the first week of December, Monday or Tuesday and look up their opening hours. Arrive at the time they open. Not a lot of people! You could spend a good three to four hours with just a few people around you. The same goes for Target. Get there early.

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