vb, don't let the tukeys get you down. give from your heart, and don't keep a checklist of who reciprocated, not even a small list in the back of your head. that kind of weight gets heavier with time.
i really believe that good people, such as yourself, are rewarded many times over for their kindness and generosity. maybe not directly, but good things tend to follow good people around.
i work with the cheapest, stingiest, most boring, unfriendly, well paid nerds that you can imagine. we didn't even do our regular christmas party this year, which i used to run. since i was working midnights no one else wanted to take up the yoke. it's difficult to squeeze even $20 out of them once a year (from a group of people each of whom make 6 figures
). when other people ran the party in years past the parties were disasters, so when i wasn't in charge no one wanted to trust anyone else to take over.
to say the least, NO ONE has ever exchanged christmas gifts in my dept., until this year. we have a new kid, 23 years old, who recently was hired and survived the 90 day gauntlet (not every new hiree has learned enough quickly enough to cut it here). when he was made permanent staff, i quietly suggested to him to buy an expensive bottle of something for our supervisor and manager as a thank you gift. i did the same almost 20 years ago, and it got me off on the right foot with them, showing gratitude like that, which laid the groundwork for many years of mutual respect.
well, the kid didn't do anything until now. the sneaky little bastid bought my supv. and manager giant bottles of grey goose and presented them as christmas gifts, instead of "thank you" gifts. so now the rest of us look cheap. my supervisor even joked about where his gifts were from everyone else, and that our overtime was being reduced, while the kid was going to get carte blanche on the schedule. grrrrrrr. i hate smart kids.
anyway, again, give your gifts because you want to give them, because you appreciate the person that is to receive them. don't sweat the turkeys.