The Small Mall was a special shopping area built in the middle of the mall's main aisle, made to look like Santa's workshop. Children were allowed to go shopping in the Small Mall, without their parents, to buy small gifts for family members. They entered on one end with a money and a list (made with the help of mom and dad) of who they needed to shop for. As an elf, it was my job to help them determine what they could afford and ensure they got something for everyone on their list. The gifts were all inexpensive, usually plastic animals, picture frames, etc. But the children loved being "grown-up" and doing shopping by themselves. I distinctly remember trying to convince one young shopper that all her recipients would not enjoy small plastic rats, to no avail. After they made their purchases, each one was wrapped in brown lunch bags and they met their parents on the other side.
At the time, I don't think I realized how cool the concept was. Now that I'm a parent I really wish something like my Small Mall still existed. What a great way to teach a child about giving...even if it is just a rat.