Well, thanks for the good vibes, they must have helped, as I survived the Shopping Centre!
I managed to avoid most of the Characters I mentioned earlier, but ran into another one who is closely related to the Aggressive Car-Park Seeker: the Car-Park Stalker! I was stalked twice, the first time on my way back to the car to drop off my first round of shopping, and I did the polite thing and shook my head to let him know I wasn't leaving. Some people won't do that because they hate being stalked, but I think it is a reasonable thing to do, and it is the Season to be Jolly and all that!
I also bought my first pair of swimmers in six years for my Annual Swim on Christmas Day. I'm so proud! Buying swimmers (aka a "swim-suit") is something I have avoided for years. I'm tired of using the old Speedo bikini - it looks fine, but it just isn't that glamorous.
I also found a few stocking-fillers. There are some WONDERFUL silly Christmas-tree ornaments for sale at the moment, and they make the best little presents for people for whom you just need that extra something. I can't wait to see my brother's face when he gets his tree ornament of a bikini-clad frog lounging on a hammock with a cocktail in it's hand! (We have a history of exchanging odd gifts. Good fun!)
So now my Christmas shopping is done until next year. Hooray!!!