Because of complicated travel plans, my family and I ended up spending Christmas Day staying near a high-end suburban mall in a faraway city. The holiday morning greeted us with a light dusting of snow and a view of a vast, empty parking lot through our hotel window. There were no cars near the entrances to the department stores, none near the big-box restaurant bunkers lining the lot and none sidling up to any of the satellite shopping strips across the street.
We could go downstairs to the hotel restaurant, where the staffers wore red felt stocking caps and smiled bravely through double shifts away from their families. But it seemed to me that some research would turn a few restaurants nearby that were open on Christmas Day.
So I turned to Santa’s little helper app, Opentable. I promptly discovered we were but two miles down the road from another cluster of