Be responsible with your gift buying - think green - think intelligently and don't waste your moneyon dumb gifts that will give 20 minutes of fun and then get put in a drawer and forgotten about. My mother would want to surprise us with a gift and year after year would waste her money on unwanted and unthoughtful gifts that she personally liked and we - her children - just looked at and went - 'What the fuck has she bought me this for ??? ' and while we were grateful, she would buy the most thoughtless load of crap that she must surely have known we hated.
One year she gave me a tin of soft centred chocolates WHICH I HATE but she personally liked... and only when I told her not to buy me anything if all she was going to do was waste her money and that she really didn't need to surprise us - we are no longer kids and how we would rather be asked ' What do you want for Christmas ' and then get the CD or DVD we wantever.
A few years ago I told her I would buy a gift for my brother and his wife for her - as I knew what they wanted, and although she was a bit put out, she paid for it and they got the DVD they had been talking about and were thrilled - and instantly thanked Mother (me... ha ha ...) and Mother was delighted when they showed genuine surprise and gratitude and all ended well.
All this clap trap about making something - you know - some craft thing - is all good and well thought of but the truth is most of us are crap at making bugger all, unless you want me to bake you a cake or knock you up a pair of curtains or something.
Most years, my brother sends his team of gardeners round to the hotel and they trim all the bushes and trees back into shape after a year of growth and tidy it all up and take away all the debris to the dump. It is his own company - David Bellamy Garden Services - and he employs 6 or 7 guys - so it is an easy gift from him and a very well received gift to me, and I am always thrilled. It still costs him considerably as his staff time is not cheap - but it is something I want. This year, I sent him and his wife to the theatre to see John Barrowmore ( is that his name... the guy from Torchwood ) who was in concert in Bournemoiuth and they were delighted.
So be thoughtful with your gift buying and do not spend money on clap trap or be suckered into buying all the junk on display. It serves no one but the retailer and says a lot about how gullible you are.