This is the time of the year when stores are busy as people do their Christmas shopping.

I’m one of those people. I do a combination of in-store local shopping and on-line shopping. I don’t enjoy crowds, so I try to go shopping during the week, when the crowds are at a minimum. I always avoid Black Friday shopping.

Making phone calls and sending text messages have provided me with a list of wants for my grandchildren. I’m still waiting on lists from my son and daughter and their spouses. That’s okay. We are celebrating our Christmas in January, so I have some extra time.

The hard people to shop for though are older relatives and friends on my list.

When I ask what they want they just shrug their shoulder and say they don’t really need or want anything special. So, I’m left to come up with a gift idea on my own.

The problem is, what do you give someone who does seem to have everything.

I received my answer the other day while visiting an aunt and uncle at a nursing home. I saw my uncle give his wife the ‘gift of love’ in a very special way.

My aunt, who is failing health, always enjoyed going to see Christmas lights. My uncle and her would always drive around and see the lights in the neighborhood at night for many years. Or ride with a friend or relative.

Now they cannot do that on their own.

During my visit my uncle proudly announced they were signed up to go on the nursing home van the next night to see the Christmas lights in Upper Sandusky. He spoke of their memories of going to see the lights through the years.

“She always loves that,” he said nodding at his wife and grinning. She smiled back.

“We’ll have a good time,” he said. There is only one glitch in that statement. My uncle is now blind. He will not be able to see the lights. His enjoyment will come from giving his wife a night to remember.

He knows she would not go on her own. She needs him beside her to offer support and companionship. So, he signed them up to go.

I now had my answer to what to give those who don’t ‘need’ anything. Give them the gift of your time. Take them to do something they may not do themselves. Give a card that promises to take them out for a meal or a drive. Or invite the person to a home-cooked meal.

Buy a jigsaw puzzle with the promise to do it with them. Make a batch of cookies and take the time to eat them with the person while you drink coffee and talk about old times.

Find some old pictures and make an album of memories you can share together.

Give the ‘gift of love’ in a special way.