I read an article recently that listed the 7 things that people shouldn't give as gifts. Number 1 was kitchen appliances (yep, we've broken that one at this house, we've both given each other kitchen stuff and loved it). The article listed gift cards, too. We've both given and received gift cards, and liked them. The main complaint is that they are impersonal, but really, if the gift card is to a place that you enjoy, then even gifts cards can be a thoughtful gift.
The article also listed food, saying that there's an overabundance of food at this time of year and no one wants it. Well, no one interviewed me. I love food, and I love getting and giving it as a gift.
Another article said not to bother with homemade gifts. At our home, we LOVE home made stuff, stuff we can make home made stuff with/in, and other gifts of that ilk. Of course, not everything we give is homemade, but we make a conscious effort to give things that are homemade and handcrafted. This year, the girls will be getting hand made, hand dyed, hand sewed dolls. The dolls are from a local artist and it's nice to support her by buying her dolls.
As for home made food, we tend to give that out every year. Generally, we give out a gift basket of home made stuff, or maybe just a jar or two along with a bottle of mead. Giving a gift that you put your effort and love into is almost always appreciated. (I like to mention that my siblings and I loved it when we got the jam from grandma when we turned 18, rather than getting toys. We always got the comfy knit slippers but getting jam too, that's just yum.)
Even if it's not home made, food can be a great gift. I mean, everyone eats. Giving food as a gift is creative, both for the giver who chooses what to put in the gift, and the receiver, who gets to make whatever she or he wants with new ingredients. It's consumable, so it won't take up space in your home for any extended period of time. It's also thoughtful because, generally, people would put in a gift something that they want to share that they like, or something that they think the other person would like.
Forget the rules that say you should skip a whole category of potential gifts. If the person likes it, it's a good gift.