Every holiday season for the past 11 years, these musical, mechanical bears return to The Shops Of Grand Avenue, and every year I ask myself the same question: are they creepy or cute?
There is no right or wrong answer to this. If you focus in on the auto-blinking eyelids or the fact someone actually took the time to name all of them – little name cards reveal their monikers are Clive, Bentley, Hornsby, etc. – then they might tweak your creep-o-meter.
But if you stand back – particularly with a believer child in tow – and you behold the band of baby grizzlies belting out "Here Comes Santa Claus," suddenly they are a little less eerie.
Furthermore, if you allow your mind to wander back two or three decades to that mall your mom or dad liked and the happiness you felt being there during the holidays, well, suddenly those bears are really kinda adorbs.
Until their hinged jaw flaps.
But regardless of your thoughts on the yuletide teddies, keep this in mind: according to former Grand Avenue Mall assistant manager, Tracy Korpela, the bears will get dressed in Packers gear when the Pack plays the Bears on Dec. 29.
And, once again, we’re back to the original question.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.