We tried hard this Christmas season to scale back on the commercialism. While it wasn't perfect, we did come very close to our goal of not giving just any useless expensive gifts just out of a sense of obligation. If we saw something perfect for someone, we got it, but otherwise we didn't go out and fill every else's houses with junk they would just keep around, unused, for two or twelve years before finally discarding it.
Santa doesn't bring as much to our house as he used to. He never was the major present-giver here anyways, but last year Ann said "I'm not going to let Santa get the credit for the best gifts." That really stuck with us and we got Santa to scale back a little more this year. He is the one that brought two of the favorite gifts for the kids though, so he did manage to steal the show again. The favorite gifts? Each got a wood yo-yo and a plastic collapsible camping cup. I think they played with them half of the day.
My daughter got a couple of Nintendo DS games (Lego Star Wars II, March of the Penguins, and Word Coach), which of course kept her glued to her DS much of the day, especially once she got a Star Wars accessory kit from her uncle Allen.
My big gift this year was a small camera, the Canon SD1000. I got it to replace our old Canon S400 so that we have a decent second camera that's small enough to carry everywhere. I shot more than half of my photos yesterday with it and it did a pretty good job. I wouldn't try to sell any indoor shots from it on iStockPhoto, but I might try uploading a well-lit ISO 80 shot from the SD1000 just to see.
Ann's big gift? I think if you asked her, it was being able to cook the entire Christmas dinner for everyone. From scratch. There wasn't a single preservative or additive in anything she made. At least I guess that would be her big gift. I gave her a cheap card with a promise that we would go on at least four actual date nights this year, where I did the planning including the sitter. Four doesn't sound like a lot to some couples, but it's four more than we did this year (and four more than a lot of couples I know).