I've decided my new hill to die on is gifts for my dad. I will no longer put any effort into picking out something nice, or caring whether he likes what I chose.
My family always demands a wish list from me at birthdays and Christmas. Not the way I like to give or receive gifts -- I'd much rather pick out something special, and get things that show that the giver knows me and was thinking of me. But I can't make them give presents the way I give presents, so I hand over the lists. But I continue to pick out presents for my family myself, no wish lists. Everyone is cool with this except my dad.
Usually at Thanksgiving my dad will approach me and say "If you want to get me something for Christmas, you could get me..." and I stop him to let him know I've already picked out his gift. This year was no different. Then when he opens the gift (which I have usually put a lot of thought into), I get a grunted, "Okay." No smiles, not even "thank you." Contrast this with my 17-year-old niece, who can't keep the delight off her face when she opens her presents. (Gee, Dad, that might be why we give her three times as many presents as we give you.) Oh, yeah, and my parents just ended up giving me a gift card because they didn't feel like looking for the items on the wish list they asked for.
So, if dad doesn't want to put any effort into getting me something I like, or politely receive the gifts I pick out especially for him, I'm not going to put any effort in either. He can have whatever books are in the bargain bin at the bookstore. I will continue not to listen to his flat out requests for gifts. (In the past, I tried listening to what he wanted in an effort to try and please him; best case scenario, I would get him what he wanted and STILL get no thank-you; worst case, he would ask for a gift I found objectionable, I wouldn't buy it, and then I'd have to hear for the next six months "why didn't you buy me X?") I wish I could just stop gift exchanges altogether, but boy, would it start a mess of complaining if I exchange gifts with every member of my family but my dad. I think no-effort gifts are the way to go to keep him quiet without investing time and energy only to have it ignored.