“Oooooh! I want one!” She exclaimed, face pressed against the glass of the shop-front like some bizarre woollen limpet.
He sighed and tried to drag her away, it was like this every year.
What had started as a nice bonding exercise was now an annual ordeal where he dragged her round the local shopping centre, struggling to buy presents for the rest of their family. In reality, most of the actual shopping was done online these days and this was just a traditional trip that he maintained for her sake.
“Come on, we’ve got other people to buy for!” He exclaimed as she squirmed in his grasp to try to maintain her gaze into the window,
“But Da-a-ad!” She looked up at him, her blue eyes as wide as she could manage, “I want one!”
“You’re thirty four!” He said, “Buy it yourself!”
“Hmph!” She folded her arms, “Well if you’re not going to play along…”
He couldn’t help but smile, despite himself, at her pretending to sulk,
“We go through this every year, love!”
“Yeah and you love it!” she planted a kiss on his cheek before slipping an arm under his. She hugged him as they continued their walk through the shopping centre in all it’s gaudy Christmas glory.
“I’m glad we still do this,” she whispered
“It’s what she would’ve wanted.” He said, his daughter couldn’t be sure if he was holding back tears or if it was the various Christmas lights reflecting in his eyes. They rounded a corner and were confronted by a large carousel, a collection of market stalls and a Santa’s grotto. Impossibly large baubles hung from the ceiling adorned with lights and fake snow. Over the sound of the other shoppers he could just about pick out every other word of “Let it Snow” playing over the centre’s P.A. System.
“I miss Mum, she’d have loved this” his daughter’s voice wavered,
“Yeah, she would” He grinned, “Now who’ve we got left to buy for?”
“Oh no you don’t! We’re going on that Carousel!” she exclaimed as she began to tug at his arm,
“Do we have to?” He sighed in mock-exasperation,
“Every year!” She replied, and motioned for him to join the queue.