3. Have a chat with your friends and family. Set a price limit on gifts. Do a cookie exchange. Buy each other a cup of coffee. Basically, live within your means during the holiday. Sure, everyone loves a $100 gift card to fill in the blank or the latest Ipod, but your runner friend will also love a warm pair of running gloves or a commitment to run a 5k together and you buy breakfast afterwards. It really is about the thought! Same thing with family. I set a 5-10 dollar limit on extended family and pick up a small, thoughtful gift (hopefully :-)) that they can enjoy. Keeping the sentiment, not breaking the bank.