This time of year, traffic can get pretty heavy at times and it's harder to find convenient parking near the places you are going. We've had some challenging weather this year too, that has made me not want to drive some days. A great solution is Asheville Transit - buses run every day and night except Sundays/holidays and frequently travel to and from downtown, West Asheville, North Asheville and the Asheville Mall area. I live in West Asheville and can catch a bus every half hour to/from downtown (route numbers 1 and 9; evening route 41).
Downtown is a great place to shop for gifts, especially for finding locally made items. The mall is also very popular for shopping, with a large variety of stores on Tunnel Road. Both of these destinations are well-served by public transit - see ashevilletransit.com for a complete list of schedules and route maps.
I like riding the bus for a few reasons. I can sit, read and enjoy the ride. I don't have to worry about finding a parking space or pay for parking. I have a sense of freedom using my feet to get around and not being "tied" to a car. And I get some exercise walking to and from the bus and around my destination. I invite you to try it - you might like it!