I think that this has changed over time. When I was a little girl, I always looked forward to my Christmas doll. Later, it would have probably been board games. Now, I love handmade gifts or gift cards to Amazon.com, Borders, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and/or Starbucks. You get the picture?
I would love to be able to cross-stitch a lot of my gifts, but I don't have the time. I like to make food goodies. I give a lot of ornaments as gifts, particularly to colleagues at work. (This year I also gave them to my children's choir.) I give subscriptions to Southern Living to several family members. Mom used to provide them, and I picked them up after she decided not to do them. I also give a lot of gift cards, especially to people who live at a distance and don't make it home. It's easier to send a gift card than to pay a fortune to mail a package.
Brumley is happy as long as he has catnip and some of the little shiny craft pompoms to bat around. I love trying to find something special for him, but you know how cats are. They just don't get excited about anything for which you want them to get excited. I bought him a "bird" last year. It was a bluebird that looked a lot like the ones in the yard, and it even made the bird's call. I got it at the Bass Pro Shop. He occasionally plays with it, but not often.