As we approach the holidays…

…or as they barrel down on us, remember we have the option to do things differently this year. One option, as proposed by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, is to opt out of the shopping madness. In his post, “The Zen Habits Holiday Gift Guide,” Babauta reminds us:

The loved ones in your life are worth more than a few clicks online and a hit to your credit card.

If you’re feeling like opting out of the season’s shopping sensation, check out the rest of Babauta’s post for alternative ideas. If you usually go alternative and are feeling like spending more dollars and less time this year, don’t be afraid to embrace that difference as well. Because major shopping seems the norm, we forget that it can be a change of pace for a group of people who might be too exhausted to create a homemade gift or personalized experience. ┬áIf you won’t be putting yourself in debt, an hour on Amazon buying gifts might be the sanest option for you.

All this to say, before jumping on one or another of the gift-giving bandwagons, think first about what the cost of the season might be for you in terms of not just your financial well-being, but also your emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.