‘Tis the season when I start avoiding malls. Except this coming Saturday (Nov. 14), when I have to bring M. to Plaza Frontenac so he and the rest of his Music Makers from the St. Louis Children’s Choirs can serenade shoppers from 11 to 11:30 a.m. I’m curious if they’ll do their holiday songs — but probably they will, as Santa will already have made his official entrance over at St. Louis Mills Mall the day before (Nov. 13). Yes, you read that right — Santa comes on NOVEMBER 13!!!! You can hardly bash the event, a fundraiser/tree lighting for the Salvation Army, but it’s two weeks before Thanksgiving, for crying out loud.

So if you’re already in the mood for Santa (and S. is — he asked yesterday, as we were taking down the Halloween decoration, why we couldn’t put up the Christmas tree), you can see him Friday at 4:30 p.m. near the play area. There’ll be door prizes, cookies and hot chocolate, and a holiday show by The Muny Kids.

But naturally Saturday’s show will be better, because M. is in it! It’s also tied to a nonprofit — the Arts and Education Council’s St. Louis on Sale event — and the organization’s card-carrying members receive 20 percent discounts at certain shops over the course of nine days.  Membership is $50, and depending on how much shopping you plan to do (and not all the shops are in malls, incidentally) joining could be worth your while.  And it’s for a good cause: The council supports dozens and dozens of arts groups (St. Louis Children’s Choirs among them) with grants of various amounts.

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Our Sunday afternoon was a bit incongruous: We went directly from M.’s first concert with the St. Louis Children’s Choirs to his first hockey team photo with the St. Louis Rockets. Due to time constraints, he wore his tux shirt and black slacks under the hockey pads for the photo.

I should clarify that it was a strange combination to me — M. though nothing of it. He likes to sing, he likes to skate. It was a good reminder that we parents sometimes pigeonhole our kids unintentionally. What’s wrong with liking classical music, anyway? Or, for that matter, what’s wrong with liking hockey?

For hockey lovers, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, the Blues’ practice sessions are free and open to the public. You just have to call ahead to make sure they’re on as scheduled at the Mills mall (314.227.5288). The next one is scheduled for Wednesday (Oct. 21) at 11 a.m.

For symphony lovers, this Thursday (Oct. 22) there’s an opportunity for high school and college students to see a SoundCheck sneak preview concert of Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time for free — all that’s required for admission is a current student ID. The Friday (Oct. 23) performance of the same works can be seen by students for only $10 per ticket — and the same offer holds true for many other SoundCheck concerts. See the homepage for details on dates and how to go about getting the tickets.