I love nice things - who doesn't, right. Christmas time is especially difficult because I want to get nice gifts for everyone (and myself too) but after I make a list, I'm broke.
So, here are a couple tips that may work for you:
1. Give presents to families rather than individuals. You may find it much smarter to give a present that the entire family can enjoy rather than buying 4 or 5 separate gifts for kids and parents (if you're so inclined). So maybe give your family friends a dvd pack of family movies or large basket of goodies.
2. Save for yourself while shopping for others. This is a great strategy for kids shopping. I buy most of Princess' clothes at Gymboree and for most of the month of December a member can earn Gymbucks - a program whereby every $50 spent entitles you to a certificate worth $25 which is redeemable at a specified time in January. So, I don't get any clothes for princess in November or December and buy clothes as Christmas presents for the kids on my list, and then I return in January to get stuff for princess. So, I get a savings for stuff I would have had to get anyway. (BTW, to all my personal friends, your kids are getting clothes from me AGAIN this year).