I usually try to tailor a gift to the person, and consider the gift as maybe something they'd like, but wouldn't buy for themselves. For example, I diverted from a wedding gift registry to buy a friend and her fiancée a Tardis cookie jar for a wedding gift. She was thrilled, said another friend had one and she always wanted to steal it.
Otherwise, I'll pick the weird, random stuff that people put on their registries. Like the Jaws computer game for my brother-in-law and his wife when they got married, and the set of golf clubs (cheapish) for my other brother in law when they got married.
For Christmas this year, we will go the heap route and most likely get gift cards to only our immediate family members. However, I did buy some of this soap at the farmers market that is handmade and has the greatest labels. There's "Dirty *****," "Dirty Hooker," "Dirty Mind," and "Zombie" to name a few. I hear the soap is sh*t, but it smells nice and the labels make me laugh.
Edited, Nov 26th 2012 8:50pm by Belkira