We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My family of origin voted to ban Christmas presents amongst eachother years ago. It's my two parents, five kids with five spouses, countless grandkids. However, bringing food, booze, and home-made Christmas cookies to the family gathering is welcome and wanted.
In my own family, as the kids have gotten older, we keep it generally in the area of books, scarves, and Christmas socks.
My in-laws, on the other hand, love the whole Christmas ritual of buying, wrapping, and giving presents, and find joy in it.
I've used the stock phrase, "Nothing, I just like to be with family and friends at the holidays", so often in response to questioners wanting to know what I "want" for Christmas that no one asks anymore.
I give my adult kids, and children-in-laws, stockings and money. I try to find cute ways to package the money. Last year, I found little plastic gee-gaws you could put bills in, so it ended up looking like a stuffed shirt. I was up all night folding the bills, but everybody got a kick out of it.
It's fun to open presents on Christmas morning, so we stick with stockings. I enjoy buying and wrapping stocking presents.
Limit presents to homemade gifts that do not cost more than $x.
Vouchers for cheap/free days out (kite flying, picnics, hiking etc) or favors(will paint your room/mow the lawn), homemade edible goodies(when else will you get to bake those anise stars?), fancy DIY soap and so on.
For me and my family, we don't buy a ton for each other throughout the year. Birthdays are usually pretty mild affairs. Christmas it typically when I buy my kids all the things I didn't buy them over the year as regular purchases. Everyone needs new stuff...clothes, toys, books, gadgets...so why not save buying most of them until Christmas and give them as gifts?
I think the problem lies in parents who try to buy everything on a kid's list or spend money they don't have and rack up bills or buy junk just to give someone something. Everything in moderation, including Christmas gifts!