Christmas shopping has, at best, been abbreviated this year. My stamina is still not back following my bout with exhaustion, bronchitis and other ailments and I tire easily after just a few minutes on my feet.

So Amy shouldered most of the load while I put the seat back in the Liberty and slept. We returned from trips to Christiansburg and Roanoke with the SUV loaded and picked up some last-minute items from the local shops in Floyd.

David St. Lawrence has a good piece about the benefits of shopping locally at Ripples. Several local merchants tell us they’ve had a good year.

But finding the right Christmas gift still means a necessary, and tiring, trip to a large regional mall like Valley View. We hit there Saturday, just two days before Christmas, and were surprised that we found a parking spot up close. I made one trip into the fray and found the hallways uncrowded and the trip through the checkout line a short one.

On the way home, I wondered. Was it really that uncrowded or do we still compare the crowds to the mob scenes we lived with in Northern Virginia? I don’t know but given my limited mobility this Christmas season, I’ll take what I can get.