I realize that this may sound a bit Olde Fashioned and perhaps a little Depression Baby, but I have been baking for the holidays for years now.
What got me started was that I had a neighbor who was doing that in Philadelphia and thought it was a great idea so I begun to bake "Care Packages" and bring them with me when I would go on visits. When times got tough, I merely made larger Care Packages and told folks, I'm sorry but this is all I can do. I was ALWAYS told it was wonderful and they were grateful to have it. Well yes I was told that, and you never quite know for sure, but a box of about 5 pounds of baked goods fresh from the kitchen are very hard to dismiss.
There are a few sources of some very good recipes that I use. If you are thinking about baking, a quick search online will turn up dozens of recipes, all of which are wonderful. Remember, the Stay At Home Mom would do these recipes in some spare time and Mom was always busy in the days before the Heat-And-Eat revolution that we all have.
My favorites are the old standby of the Internet Cookie Recipe. I won't point you to it since its so very easy to find, but if you make it, a Stand Mixer will help and double the Vanilla... its a great basis for cooking. The other thing I find people enjoy is the Peanut Brittle recipe that every school kid in New Jersey made in Christmas Chemistry Lab in beakers and Bunsen Burners. I've made that just about every year and it is so simple that it is laughable.
The point is that you can go to a store, pick up a gift card, and take the easy way out. Choosing a proper gift at a shop is a bit more difficult, but nobody turns down a box of baked goods!
And now you know how I plan on spending my weekend!