This morning I’m starting the day with a frothy cup of hot cocoa. There’s nothing like nursing a hot cup on cold mornings. Today I topped it off with peppermint shavings in honor of the season. And I’ve been doing a little holiday decorating as well. It’s always such a joy to get out those traditional little keepsakes. So many good memories of people and times gone by.

I know it may seem late to some of you, but I’m beginning my gift hunting this week too. I know, I know, I have friends that have already finished. So if you’re in that camp, congratulations! I always have good intentions, but you know how that goes.

So at some point this week, we’ll be hitting Arden Fair Mall. And, aside from shopping, a trip to the mall means a stop at the Carousel. Did you know Funderland operates and manages the carousel in Arden Fair? Indeed, we do.

Carousels have a long and colorful history, and I believe the first one to appear in the United States was in the early 1800’s. They’ve developed over the years, of course, with state of the art technology, but they still thrill young and old alike. The carousel in Arden Fair Mall is a custom-made Barrango built in San Francisco in 1992. At the time, it cost a whopping $250,000! Marcy Friedman, one of the owners of Arden Fair Mall, was instrumental in the design and painting of the animals. It’s a beautiful little piece, hand-painted and brightly colored. Just the sort of thing to bring the imagination to life! So if you’re in the mall this season, be sure to stop by with the kids and take a spin. It’s a perfect break from the frenetic mall pace!

Oh, and if you’re still looking for the perfect family gift, why not purchase a 2013 Season Pass? During the month of December, you can get $15 off the regular price! Plus, it’s a gift that lasts all year long. How’s that for some holiday magic?!

* Photo Credit: Peter V. Hernandez (Creative Commons)