My Mother (the Virgo) had Christmas down to a science. Here's her system, to which I adhere rigorously:
For each deserving Child:
--something to read (she's a sucker for good illustrations)
--something to wear (this has little resonance with The Hooligans, so I usually just replenish their socks and underwear, or knit them an itchy sweater that they refuse to wear*)
--something to play with (sometimes I expand this to include a gross motor item (Skateboard) and a fine motor (lego thingy))
--a stocking full of random things like slinkies, marbles, , mittens, packages of colored pencils, and candy
When my sister and I were in our teens, the "something to wear" became the big deal. The "something to read" included books like the illustrated greek myth anthology that I wrapped up for the Larger Hooligan last year. Anyway, it helps me not get overwhelmed. I do recommend NOT having a baby 2 days before Christmas, or 2 weeks after, as this only adds to the chaos and excess. It is SERIOUSLY FESTIVE around here. When the Smaller Hooligan's birthday is over (Jan. 9th) I feel like I need a vacation. I bet that's how accountants feel on April 16th. Except instead of getting paid, I've spent all my money. So I just enjoy the relative tranquillity at home.
*a note to Mamie: They like YOUR sweaters. So do I :).