Today is my Mom's birthday-Saturday was mine. Family legend is she got to come home from the hospital on her birthday, so I was her present. She'd probably have taken me back if she'd known what lay ahead.
Presents are hard-we don't "do" presents....but if I didn't show up with a "something" I think she'd be sad. So, in the intricate workings of my mother and I, it has to be something she wants that it just looks like I had. Saying to hell with it and just buying a nice present causes her much consternation. So, if I want to get her present for birthday/Christmas, I buy something for her not at those times of the year, and I say "I just wanted to do it".
I try to be respectful of that. I have my own holiday issues-single parenting will do that for you.
Maybe love is nothing more than respecting each other's neurosis.