The essence of the custom is that I now have to go out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship as that represented by the gift you've given me. It's no wonder suicide rates skyrocket this time of year.
Either be smart and start shopping in August or stay home, shop online and watch the Season 2 Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon enters a shop dressed with a great wall of EXPEDITS in search of a gift for Penny.
I don't see anything in here a woman would want.
When they say it's the thought that counts I don't think they realize how dangerous that could be with a person with Sheldon's analytical brain.