Some of the giant coloring books being sold by members of the Badger Lions club at the Crossroads Mall are not going to end up where most would assume a coloring book would go - to a young child, that is.
The one that Tina Swanson, of Fort Dodge purchased, is one of those.
"I got it for my son's girlfriend," she said. "She's 20, and she loves to color."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Tony Hosford, left, of Humboldt, spends a little quality time with his grandson, Jayden Erie, 2, as other family members shop at the Crossroads Mall Saturday.
Swanson will make sure the recipient can use it.
"I'll be finding some crayons too."
Swanson said she's willing to color, but not willing to go over the lines.
"No," she said, "Never."
Larry Hall, secretary of the club, said that many college-age women do indeed purchase the books, although most end up in the small hands of younger children.
The proceeds from the soon-to-be-decorated volumes support The Salvation Army and the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center.
"We try to give to where there's a need," he said.
They are also a great stocking stuffer.
"If you can find a stocking they fit in," he said.
If you wanted one gift wrapped, Allie Lansman and her fellow Elkhorn Early Birds 4-H Club members could wrap it up for you. They were working to raise funds for their annual citizenship project.
So far, she was only seeing ordinary presents.
"We haven't gotten anything completely strange," she said.
Once she begins work on a package, she gives it her all.
"This is my favorite thing to do at Christmas," she said. "I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to wrapping presents."
For Chris and Korann Kendall, of Fort Dodge, the present they were having her wrap was about it.
"We're pretty much done," Korann Kendall said.
It was also being given in the spirit of the season.
"We were shopping for The Salvation Army," she said.
So what to do with all that time between now and Dec. 25?
"Sit and wait for snow," Chris Kendall said.
Shoppers at the mall also had an opportunity to sit and listen to "'Twas' the Night Before Christmas," the reading presented by Helen Hansen, public relations officer for the "Ah" Toastmasters Club #2791 of the Toastmasters International. Other members shared poetry and speeches.
The reading was part of a program to show the public what the Toastmasters Club does.
"We teach leadership skills and how to organize your own speech," she said. "We can even teach you how to tell a good joke."
She said that members learn to listen and then think about what they heard before speaking.
Club President Jacque Johanson was on hand too. She said that the skill learned through the Toastmasters Club can help build confidence and apply to all levels of speaking.
"It's not only at the one-to-one but also on the one-to-1,000," she said.
She said that many people have a great fear of speaking in public.
"Many lists put fear of public speaking at No. 1," she said. "Fear of dying is No. 7."
Jeannie Wood, of Fort Dodge, also gave a speech, she talked about some of her favorite movies.
"This gives you an opportunity to practice in front of strangers," she said.
She said she enjoys the gentle critique from fellow club members, and that the program has helped build her own confidence level.
Of course a rainy day at the mall is not complete without the usual group of men who sit in the corridor and wait for spouses, girlfriend and teenage daugh ters to finish shopping, usually in one of the many clothing stores.
Tony Hosford, of Humboldt, was one of those, spending the time with a bag of candy working on numbers and colors with his grandson, Jayden Erie, 2.
"We're doing what guys do when we go shopping," he said.
He said he has his own shopping done but is still looking forward to helping out with one last task.
"She lets me wrap gifts so I can see what we gave the kids," he said.
Todd Hauge, of Williams, and his son Alex, 11, added a third rather flat member to their shopping party - a lifesized stand-up cardboard cutout of the character Sheldon from the television show "Big Bang Theory."
"It's for a friend of ours," he said."It's his favorite guy from the show."
Hauge didn't buy one for himself.
"I can take it or leave it," he said of the program.
Monty Asadipour, co-owner of the Yogurt Plus and Zeppole Pizza & Pasta, didn't mind the rainy day at all.
"Today's been a beautiful day," he said. "It gets people in the mood, when they shop, they get hungry."
For his own Christmas list, he readily admits to being a last-minute shopper.
"I do it at the end," he said.