Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finishing the Christmas Shopping

Started another freezing day with the CGI Angelina Ballerina. The title of this disc, Twirling Tales, gives absolutely no indication that this set has a spring theme. One fun story has Angelina and her friends learning the importance of rules when Angelina invites her classmates to rehearse for the Spring Talent Show in her attic. She tells them there's no rules in her theater...but when she, AJ, and Vicki can't do their act because of the noise and the mess, they realize that everyone needs some rules in their lives. Another has Angelina trying to decide with her friends what music to use for the big finale of the Spring Fling. She can't decide between jazz, hip-hop, and tango. And when Mother's Day comes around, Angelina and Polly offer to help their mom shelve cookbooks while she rests...but she can't rest if they're making noise and goofing off. Angelina teaches her little sister about the dynamics (loud and soft) of music, so they can sing softly and let their mom unwind.

I headed to WaWa to pick up the 11:08 bus to the Voorhees Town Center. I would have gotten it at Oaklyn's City Hall, but I needed to use the ATM machine, and bought a Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino while I was there. (Lots of spice, not nearly enough pumpkin flavor.) The bus was only slightly late, but it was really crowded. I took a seat up front because the back was full. Most everyone got off at the various stores or shopping centers on the Black Horse Pike. The bus was nearly empty when we finally arrived in Voorhees.

The Town Center itself wasn't that busy. I've really gotten to like the Town Center. It may not be as big or have the fancy stores that the Deptford and Cherry Hill Malls do, but between Boscov's, Macy's, and the Hallmark, it probably has all anyone needs in a mall these days. (If Boscov's hadn't dropped their electronics/entertainment section, they'd be all set.) Not to mention, since it isn't big, it's hard to get lost, especially since there's really nothing on the second floor but offices, Boscov's separate Juniors store, a men's clearance store, and the bus stop.

I started in Boscov's. THEY were busy, and no wonder. They were having some really great sales. I hit the accessories section first to finish out Jessa. After that, I went downstairs, where all the really fun stuff is. I love that Boscov's has a candy counter. I don't know why more department stores don't have one. I bought a small broken piece of eggnog fudge and a larger piece of pumpkin pie fudge from the tray with the 75% off broken bits. I explored their extensive seasonal section, filled with beautiful lit trees, gorgeous ornaments, and even Christmas Story-themed porcelain houses. (I liked the Parkers' house, Ralphie's school, and the big one for the sales building for the heaters that Mr. Parker is always doing batter with.)  Their toy section isn't as extensive as Target's, but just the fact that they have a good-sized one is something. I was able to finish out the shopping for the kids there, buying presents for my nephews Skylar and Collyn and a card game for my cousins Ethan and Matt to share.

Headed out into the mall again. I like how they decorate the Town Center. While Boscov's opted for gaudy, with cardboard hangings and huge swags of greenery amid their regular neon trim, the Town Center went elegant with simple red and gold greenery and wide ribbons. It was pretty and festive without being too overdone.

After a quick stop at a calender store, I next went to Hallmark. I managed to resist the WebKinz this time and went right to the cards. My nephew Collyn's 5th birthday was last week; Mom and Dad-Bill's 30th anniversary is next week. I also bought myself a Peanuts calender for my bedroom. I like to use a character-themed calender to brighten my bedroom and a more adult calender to keep track of dates in the hallway near the living area.

I took a peek at the Bath & Body Works near Macy's next, but their lines were atrocious, and really, most of their stuff is overpriced anyway. I ended up returning to the food court for lunch. The food court isn't big and doesn't have a lot of options. I went with Philly Steak, which, as you can probably guess, sells your basic Philly-style hoagies and cheese steaks. They also sell gyros, which are less common up here than they are at the Jersey Shore. Theirs was actually quite good, with lots of tomatoes, onions, and lettuce (though I should have asked them to go a little easier on the yogurt-dill sauce).

While I may take a look at the Town Center's outdoor area (including their street filled with fancy restaurants) sometime in the near future, a day where the high was 26 wasn't the right time to do it. I picked up the 2:14 back to Oaklyn shortly after finishing lunch. While the traffic was a little heavy on the White Horse Pike, otherwise, the bus wasn't nearly as full as the one going there, and the trip back was no problem.

I got off at the stop next to Dr. Hyder's dental office in Oaklyn, then walked a block to The House of Fun. Lauren had requested an Atari video game from them. I got the game she asked for and found something else for her there as well. My last stop was Family Dollar for a tin for cookies...which really and truly completes my Christmas shopping. Any adult who shows up unexpectedly will be getting food; kids will get small toys from the Acme or drug stores.

Spent the rest of the evening quietly at home, crocheting and watching Christmas movies and specials. Nick, Sally, The Cat, and the Fish take an extra-special trip in the Thing-a-Ma-Jigger to get Ralph the Reindeer home to Freeze-Your-Knees Snowland in The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas. On the way, they inadvertently learn about the migration patterns of animals in warmer climates too as the Thing-a-Ma-Jigger continually breaks down.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas is an anthology of holiday short stories featuring the regular Disney characters. In the first story, Donald's nephews learn why Christmas only comes once a year when they wish for Christmas to be every day. The second finds Goofy's son Max skeptical of Santa and how he can bring presents to all those kids in one night. Goofy becomes determined to show his son that Santa really does exist. Micky and Minnie star in the third story. Mickey wants to buy Minnie a chain for her watch, but he has no money. When he and Minnie trade their most treasured possessions for presents, they both discover that they mean more to each other than any gift.

Here Comes Santa Claus is a very strange French musical from 1986. In the version I dubbed off an 80s video, Simon is a sad little boy whose parents have disappeared in Africa. He and his friend Ellody travel to cold Iceland to meet Santa and ask him to bring Simon's parents home. When they arrive, not only do they find Santa, but they also meet Mary Ellen, the beautiful fairy who directs the elves. While Mary Ellen and Santa search the very real Senegal for Simon's parents, Simon and Ellody fall into the clutches of a nasty ogre who eats children for dinner and fairies for dessert.

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