The holiday season is fast approaching…its festive mood upon us encroaching…setting all of us in motion - Okay I don’t have any more rhymes in my quiver of whimsy. But nonetheless, it’s heading towards that time of year where we all start to feel a little more generous, a little more caring towards one another…ah who am I kidding, Christmas time is capitalism’s way of sky rocketing our blood pressure to epic proportions. The stress of the shopping alone would be enough to send us into an extended hibernation, perhaps emerging from our chrysalis a week before the new work year started, none the wiser of the ills of gift wrapping and counter check-out lines. You know you're growing up when Christmas no longer signals the end of the back and forth from schools around Silver Lakes, and begins to mean the start of the back and forth from malls in purchasing presents for people you hardly know.
This year, however, does stand to behave a little differently than were our previous encounters with the fat man in a red suit shouting profanities towards women (fun fact, the traditional image of dear St. Nick – the aforementioned overweight male dressed like a discoloured lighthouse beacon – was actually an invention of the Coca Cola franchise – you know, back in the days when cocaine was a staple ingredient in their fizzy mix (what, you thought the name was a coincidence?). Now, it doesn’t always have to be like that – the following few years could be, very possibly, your most enjoyable consumerist holiday to date, and yes, calm down, I’m about to tell you why.
We all like spending money (some of us more than others). It’s kind of like procrastinating (possibly why I’m up at 2 am writing an article that was due four days ago) – in that it isn’t beneficial in the slightest, but lord is it fun. What I do guarantee though, is that none of us, unless you have a very twisted perception of what enjoyment entails, like sitting in the kind of traffic that comes hand-in-hand with the holiday spirit. Let me paint a word picture than I’m sure we are all too familiar with by now – it’s December 24th. The Christmas party you’ve been planning for the past month is less than 24 hours away, and you still haven’t finished preparing. Worse than that, you’re sister-in-law has invited her in-laws to your get together (perhaps it’s time to take the in-law into your own hands) which means you’ve got to increase the amount of food you had originally plan for, and shop for people you don’t know so they don’t go unnoticed by the secret Santa committee. Thursday afternoon traffic means than getting to the centre you need to be at to accomplish the mammoth task beset upon you at the last minute is already a mission in itself. Passing over the fact that the nearest shopping mall is at least a 40 minute drive away, the constant stop-go movement of the line of cars ahead of you and the seemingly shared road rage by all around you is not doing anything to help your ETA, or your frustration levels.
Now, imagine this scenario for a moment: A mall – excuse me, a lifestyle centre that hold within its grasp the answer to the problems presented to you by the in-laws of your in-laws. Now, if you will, imagine not one of these centres, but rather scores of them, scattered throughout the eastern reaches of the capital city, where choice sees many infinites possible, as though one were glimpsing the tenth dimension discussed amongst string theorists (not to get to technical or anything). And in lowering yourself back to the recognisable plane of the 4D world we know so well, these centres all within a moment’s travel from your homestead, said 45 minute drive and hum-drum of traffic a thing of the past.
I begin with a description of the tried and trusted. I speak of course, of Menlyn Shopping Centre – or as we probably all knew it as children, the “Circus Tent” (ah, youth). Perhaps aptly conceived though, for I have nothing but fond memories attached to the place. For starters, it’s so well situated, arterials vehicle route on either side, that it would take an effort to not get there as quickly as possible, this description not yet paying homage to the 4 different entrances that allow for great ease of access to the hundreds of stores that await. Indeed I have many friends within the properties of Silver Lakes Estate that look for any excuse to hang out at the most, in their words, “hip and happening mall” in all of the Pretoria…it’s actually getting a bit annoying, I should probably cut them loose…you know, after we hang out at Menlyn Retail.
I now move to describe my personal favourite of all the of this fine city’s mall. Is there a second? The motion carries! Besides the only ice rink in the greater metropolitan area, The Grove stands in such wonderful proximity to the properties in the east that it is sure to lighten the work load in terms of getting there. Forget driving, you’ll feel like you Harry Potter’ed your way to the palatial glass doors that beckon to you. The high ceilings and incorporation of natural light will give the impression that you’re actually shopping in a small forest in the Americas, albeit one with air-conditioning, cinemas, beauty-spas and ice cream parlours.
As for those pesky in-laws that needed to be catered for – oh them? Nah, I finished doing their shopping while I wrote this article. That’s how easy it was. And that’s how easy it can be for you, should your choose Silver Lakes, it’s radius to everything you need so small it’s practically non-existent, as the place to spend your holidays during this, and every other year. Now how about a round of golf at the Silver Lakes Golf Course and Country Club?