the old man gets an xmas ham and single malt scotch that he wouldn't have gotten himself or off his own bat
the old girl gets a full day at the Peninsula Hot Springs with brekkie/lunch with either dad or my sister that she wouldn't have done otherwise
Those aren't things they'd be comfortable receiving normally
On xmas day they're wrapped and that gives both them and me pleasure
I may get socks and jocks this year - or a doonah/sheet set - or a bottle of hot sauce - or a voucher for a night out - or a set of tyres for my car
Not for one second do I do any sort of calculations of monetary value - the thought process in choosing the gift (if any) speaks more than the value of it
Card/vouchers are fantastic for teens/young adults - I've found they start to plan what they're going to get with the gift card pretty much as soon as they are given it.
For some cash would go on their bills/ciggies/booze/hookers etc - at least the voucher "forces" them to grab an actual item and lets them pick one they want.
With a voucher you're able to give them a narrower focus of where to spend it and lets them know you have some understanding of their interests ("Hey - a game for the console mum and dad gave you for xmas", "Hey - I know you want to get a decent ski jacket - go find yourself a decent one", "Hey - I know you've just moved into your own place and are starting the garden - go pick some nice plants/decorations from Bunnings")
Also lets them take advantage of boxing day sales - maybe they can find a 2 for 1 deal or decent discount, allowing them to stack the stocking a bit higher or get an item that would have been out of the budget otherwise.
Next time you visit - "Hey Rab - come play this game/look at the jacket I chose/have some tomatoes from the veggie patch we made"
I don't think there's a person that matters that I don't see/talk to regularly enough that I need to make it a special event for xmas lol, or that a visit from me would be considered a present