Every year Phil and I really make sure to do Christmas "right." We get each other great gifts and really put a lot of time and effort into picking gifts for our friends and family. Usually, we have a loose budget when it comes to giving gifts around the holiday season (mainly because I just have to get everyone the.perfect.gift), but this year we are sticking to a budget.
I must admit that it makes me happy to not go "overboard" this year with gifts. I love Phil and I don't really feel the need to buy him something extravagant. I would, honestly, rather give him a couple of small gifts and focus on spending time with him. After all, this will be our only Christmas being engaged :)
As for friends, I think a smaller budget than what we usually do will work out well too. It's more about the company and friendship anyways, so why should we insist on spending more than necessary? You can be just as thoughtful getting something small that means a lot to that person.
I guess what it comes down to isn't about just finances. It's about showing people other ways that you care. Sure, Phil still wants us to have a Christmas tree at the new apartment and I still want to put up our decorations there when I move in, but I'm not going to go all out buying new things every season.
This year, I would like to focus on the company of friends and family instead of seeing how much it will cost us to make them "happy."