The way I understand it, Christmas was always a gathering of family and friends prior to the 1880's, but then a few businessman thought they should promote the gift giving that the 3 wise men gave Jesus to generate more sales, and it obviously worked.
We are cutting back drastically this year and getting back to the meaning of Christmas. We are a blended family and so our 3 girls (ages 5, 6 and now 8) have biological parents that are very well off and get pampered with gifts. My Mom...she does not understand the concept of reducing presents either; her house burned down when she was a kid 3 days before Christmas and so makes sure everyone has 1400 gifts apiece so they do not have to endure a Christmas with no presents.
I actually feel kind of bad that our girls get as much as they do when I know other kids out there get nothing, or at the very least, very little. We are just hoping to give them what other kids do not get much of either: family traditions, holiday routines and a feeling of well being.