On reflection, we agreed that this was all ridiculous, and had nothing to do with the real spirit of Christmas, so my wife has come up with what I think is a brilliant idea: next Christmas she is going to take the money that she would have spent on each of us, and donate it to a charity; she will also encourage us all to consider doing the same with the money that we would have otherwise spent on her.
She also feels somewhat aggrieved about the amount we get hassled by charities to which we have contributed - it seems that once you contribute to a charity, they latch on to you and keep coming back for more. She intends to find a single and very identifiable charitable case (such as a specific child, or a wild animal) and concentrate her help on that cause. The benefit should be that she can more easily check that the full amount reaches the destination for which she intended.
I think that this is a brilliant idea; I will follow her lead. What do you think?