The holidays can be a stressful time for people. Even though we know it's coming, things just seem to get a little frantic around this time of year. And most of it is stress we put on ourselves. Seriously think about it. While it's understandable that you want to find the perfect gifts for the people you are closest too, these are the same people that wouldn't want you driving yourself crazy because of them! But we do it anyways...
And now to the point of my post. What is the perfect gift? Does it have to be something that they wouldn't buy for themselves? Maybe one of the reasons they wouldn't buy it for themselves is because they wouldn't get much use out of it. Wouldn't a better gift be something that they will get use of? Sure. You can dress it up a little. Maybe get a nicer version of something they will get use of? Don't you want them to use the gift you got them? So it may be a bit on the practical side but it shows that you know them enough to know what they need. How can there be something wrong with that?
Apparently my brother-in-law thinks that there is. He thinks that I must not be comfortable with gift giving because I get people non-flashy, practical gifts. I for one think that my mother will be very please with the all-weather, heavy duty floor mats that I got her for her brand new car. On one hand I could have gotten her a sweater she'll wear once every couple of weeks for two seasons of the year or on the other hand I could get her floor mats that will protect her new car and she'll use pretty much every day for the next five or six years.
I say practical gifts win!