This is the Alpha Game Holiday Survival Guide part I.
A significant amount of male stress over the Christmas season can be eliminated by keeping in mind one simple fact: women do not feel gratitude in the same way men do. This is why they so often receive gifts in a manner that men find irritatingly ungrateful.
How many times have you seen this happen on Christmas? A woman receives a gift from someone, anyone, and immediately begins to explain what is wrong with it, why it isn't exactly what she wanted, or that she really would have preferred something else. If she's polite, she'll preface this with a broadly smiling "thank you". If she's not, she'll launch directly into what men tend to hear as the "here is how you fucked up even though you bought me precisely what I said I wanted in November" speech. Every single man I know has found himself, at one time or another, thinking "Merry fucking Christmas, why the hell do I even bother?"
It is understandable that men tend to find this superficially ungracious response to be dispiriting, if not soul-killing, which is why most men absolutely hate, hate, hate buying anything for women at any time. Those guys you see out on December 24th aren't necessarily idiots or procrastinators, (although they may be), they may simply be putting off what they know from experience to be a painful and humiliating experience as long as possible.
However, it doesn't have to be that way. Enduring the ritual female response to receiving gifts is a lot easier to bear once a man understands that women see gifts as being, first and foremost, obligations. Think about how a woman responds whenever another woman gives her a gift. In most cases, she immediately starts talking about how the gift wasn't necessary and promises that she will somehow do something for the gift-giver in the future, presumably because she knows if she doesn't respond in kind, she loses a point in the eternal game of woman versus all women on the planet.
Think about that. What man ever responds to an unsolicited gift by saying that it wasn't necessary? Of course it's not necessary, says the male mind, that's why they call it a gift and not a debt! Why would anyone even imagine that I HAD to buy it? No one pointed a gun at me and said: give her that there tweed coat or die! But that's logic, and we're dealing with feelings here.
The promise to repay the newly imposed obligation is one tactic, but it is one that isn't applicable on formal gift-giving occasions such as Christmas and birthdays. Hence the reliance on the alternative tactic, which is to verbally reduce the perceived value of the gift of to nothing, thereby eliminating the sense of obligation that the woman feels. I posit this as the source of the ritual gift-denigration; once a man recognizes this pattern at work, it can be tremendously amusing to watch a woman desperately try to find a way to somehow disqualify a gift so that it doesn't count as an obligation on her. In fact, the truly generous man will always buy women gifts that he knows are imperfect in some way; this will make it easier for her to disqualify the gift and thereby make it possible for her to enjoy it.
It is important to understand that this behavior has absolutely nothing to do with you or your choice of gift. It doesn't even have anything to do with her per se! The gift-denigration reaction is sub-rational and instinctual; most women are appalled and embarrassed if they ever come to realize that they are habitually behaving in what appears to be an ungracious manner. So relax, don't let it faze you, don't let it irritate you, and by all means, don't try to argue with her when she starts nonsensically babbling that although the Porsche you bought her is her favorite color and she really loves it and she doesn't know how to drive stick, she really wanted a manual transmission because this would have been the perfect opportunity to learn how to drive one.
(Of course, if you had bought her the car with a manual transmission, she would have complained that you clearly don't know anything about her, since she doesn't even know how to drive stick. Women can always find a means of disqualifying a gift; they can be geniuses in this regard.)
The good news is that the fact she's denigrating a gift means that she feels a sense of obligation from receiving it. So, the ideal response is to smile and say "I'm glad you like it."