In addition to being a time to celebrate diabetics, Christmas is the one time of year that I voluntarily set foot in a shopping mall. Over-crowded and flooded with carcinogenic fluorescent lighting, malls are a terrible place to spend one's late twenties, but my determination to find practical Christmas presents prevails. I set out to the Cambridgeside Galleria the other day with a good friend to find the perfect meat thermometers, paper towel roll dispensers, and six-piece screwdriver sets that everyone dreams of receiving at Christmastime, but mostly I just wanted to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Unfortunately for my friends and family, the mall was out of presents of any kind, and so I was forced to buy a number of sweaters for myself instead.
I am happy to report that the bedridden economy has not precluded Santa Claus from making his annual transcontinental trip to shopping malls everywhere for pictures. Picture-taking rates, however, have gone up in order to make up for North Pole rent increases. I suspect it was not the children at all that persuaded Santa to book an economy flight and pack a suitcase of sensible clothing, but the mall's generous offer to set up Santaland directly in front of a Victoria's Secret. I arrived after Santa had already left his throne behind, but I imagine he left with some underage female shoppers that he had promised iPhones to.
We rewarded ourselves for arriving at the mall with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which provides you with an extended menu offering something they call "Skinnylicious" options. This menu is filled with a wide variety of thin people to choose from. This is not entirely accurate. On the contrary, Skinnylicious menu options are normal-sized meals for people of human height and weight, which I refused to order from on principle. The original Cheesecake Factory menu is already 127 glossy color pages long, so it was over an hour and a half before we had decided on entrees. This is not altogether unusual as it typically takes me a while to decide what to order anyway. Some might even call me a foodie, as I've just eaten a mint that I found inside the lining of my winter coat (it was a particularly good kind of mint, plus it was wrapped).
There are now only four days left of Christmas shopping, or one until the end of the world, depending on which count you view as most important. I have just one more run to the liquor store to wrap up my Christmas shopping. I hope everyone has a terrific holiday, or at least enough mints hidden inside the lining of their coats to last a few days should we awake tomorrow to find all our food sources demolished.