Being a minimalist, I avoid any shopping unless I have to do it such as groceries. This time of year, Christmas season, stores are a zoo – I’m glad I don’t do much in the way of shopping. Because I live within my means and I don’t desire nor have excesses in material items, I also don’t indulge others with gifts out of ‘obligation’ to the “giving” season. Time is the most valuable gift to give as evidenced by everyone’s claim of having a ‘lack of time’. I like to be with my family and friends, I like to make special treats or food because it’s appreciated and it doesn’t go to waste like other useless items given in lieu of not knowing what ‘they like’ or want. If you want to avoid the ‘holiday season’ zoo, figure out how you can give your time to someone you care about; shovel their walkway, make a meal, sit and talk – face to face – over a coffee, run an errand for them while you’re out running your own. Be creative.