'Tis the season, afterall.
This is what I like the least about Christmas. Not the shopping as such, but the mad dash, the line-ups, the impulse buys, the over-the-top Christmas displays (aisles and aisles of Christmas decorations etc.), and all the stuff to buy buy buy.
I actaully enjoy shopping for gifts. It takes a little prodding (maybe a little begging) to find out what people want + a little careful consideration, but in the end, I think I usually hit the mark.
What I don't like are gift certificates for Christmas. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE gift certificates, and there is a right time/place for them and I'm more than happy to give them when their asked for. But Christmas is about the act of gift-giving - it's a celebration of the greatest gift of all! ... And the last thing I want to do AFTER Christmas is to go back to the stores, face the crowds again, and spend more money. What I find about gift certificates is that you never just spend the value of the gift certificate; you almost always put it towards something more expensive and put down your own money for the balance. So -- just like the stores want you to -- you spend even more money after Christmas.
I would be lying if I said I didn't want gifts at Christmas. I do. But only because of the fun of watching people open their gifts, their reactions, and the madness of paper + dogs + people that usually ensues. Not to mention the family time. Someone inevitably will get a movie that'll we'll all watch as a family, or get a game that we'll play, or get a puzzle that'll will become a project to work on, and in the quiet times, we'll all find our own corner and read our new books or play with our new trinkets. You don't often find people sitting in a quiet corner relaxing after a chaotic day with their new giftcard.
So gifts are an important part of our Christmas traditions (in my family anyway), and I think it'd be unrealistic to expect anything different.