Try this: spend $100 or less on holiday gifts this year. I think you'll find you can achieve a more rewarding holiday season by not making the silly assumption that the pleasure you cause and appreciation you demonstrate is directly related to the pain of subsequent credit card debt.
Here’s the bottom line: we have so much stuff that a pile of presents is no longer exciting, no longer novel. [Read more of this post from Bill McKibben]
What you may be really surprised to find is how little you miss the old way of doing things. My family gave up the gift thing in favor of just stockings a few years back and the holidays for us are now a relaxed, warm time to hang out together and share cool stuff like foods & music & books & movies we've discovered over the past year. A lot of the time we even just enjoy being together each doing our own things and occasionally piping up with good lines from books or a pretty new image found on Flickr. No big production, no big expectations, no comparing your stack against someone else's; just good company and tasty things to eat and the absence of obligation.