My family tries to finish Christmas shopping early, and under budget, so we can take advantage of all the gift card deals available right now. We also take my husband's checks from his second job (which usually go into savings) and use them to buy gift cards, and then add the money into our savings account, as we use the giftcards that we buy for ourselves. We do something similar through out the year, by getting giftcards for places we shop a lot from our Smartypig savings account, and just using money out of our regular budget. But close to Christmas the deals are even better and you can earn more free stuff just by buying giftcards to places you would shop anyway! We do give a few of them away, and Elliott always receives one to shop and one to a restaurant of his choice for Christmas and his birthday, but most of them are just used for everyday purchases we would have made anyway.
Right now, mypoints has a special bonus offer, where you can buy 4 $25 giftcards, and receive a free $10 gift card. The choices include CVS, KMart, Kohls, Panera, and Darden (Red Lobster and Olive Garden).
They also have several other choices for gift cards where you get bonus points, although the bonuses aren't as good. They include many more choices, though.
Also, this is the perfect time of the year to buy restaurant gift cards. When you order a Denny's $25 gift card, you receive a free $5 one as well. Denny's does charge $1.95 shipping, but you are still saving $3.05.
At Ruby Tuesday when you buy a $50 gift card, you receive a free $15 bonus coupon that can be used between January 2 and February 28.
At Applebee's when you order $50 in digital gift cards, you get a free $10 digital gift card. This only applies to digital cards, but even if you have someone on your list who doesn't use a computer much, you can print it out for them, and still take advantage of this deal!
At Taco Bell (this might vary by location, but it never hurts to ask!) when you buy a $20 gift card you get a free item off of the menu.
I'm sure there are plenty more of these deals, but these are the ones available in my area.