We keep Christmas pretty simple.
The day after Thanksgiving, we take our pre-lit, artificial tree out of storage and decorate it. I’d like to buy a simple pre-lit wreath for the door this year, funds permitting, as our new house is an Eichler with no street-facing windows.
I usually make a glazed ham, a potato dish that changes based on how much time off and energy I have, a winter squash or sweet potato side, and a green vegetable (usually roasted brussels sprouts, green beans, or green peas with pearl onions). I mull some wine, buy some apple cider for underaged guests, and buy a stollen for dessert. We usually have whoever in our family is in the USA over, and they bring various sweets from their country, like bouche de noel, boeterkoek, panettone, mincemeat pies, etc.
The leftover ham that isn’t sent home with family becomes various ham and bean or split pea and ham soup, ham sandwiches, and ham, roasted potato, and green pea casserole… usually. I still have vacuum-sealed ham from last Christmas in the freezer.
Gifts are usually small and edible or consumable items, like homemade Christmas cookies, spiced nuts, and/or chocolates; fancy looseleaf teas, candies, or spice blends; and small beeswax candles, bath and beauty products packed into one festive gift bag per friend. If I have the time and energy, I will make a tree ornament for everyone, too, but I will be giving birth tomorrow (induced labor) so I probably won’t this year.
For my more Americanized friends who like gifts that last longer, I add a useful item that fits a theme for everyone, like fleece throw blankets, coffee mugs that suit the recipient’s style or interests, faux cashmeme scarves in their favorite colors, etc. It’s all very standardized but people seem to like it.
Kids get toys and/or hobby items. I always ask their parents what they’re into (Legos and art suppies seem to be the most popular requests for the kids in my circle).
After Christmas, I host a White Elephant gift exchange for my friends. I provide another Christmas dinner (ham, roasted baby potatoes, baked yams in foil, green veggie nobody ever eats, non-alcoholic apple cider, mulled wine, sugar cookies) and gift favor bags, and encourage guests to bring a party snack or leftover Christmas miscellany along with their present (our friend brought over party poppers last year and they were a big hit!), and we have lots of fun.