I've always been under the impression that you don't ask for or give very expensive gifts because the whole idea that you exchange gifts so they should be somewhat equal.
Well, my BIL is an insanely generous gift giver. Year one together, he got us a PS3. He's gotten me a Sirius car radio, a KitchenAid professional stand mixer (that one wasn't too bad since he already owned one that he never used), built my DH a state-of-the-art gaming beast of a computer.
We don't have a lot, but we're happy with what we've got. Things we want are expensive that we tend to put on the back burner because other things take priority. Whenever we are asked for gift ideas, we're pretty much coming up blank, but we'll joke about those expensive things we want.
Something DH has wanted for a couple years now is a new flat screen tv. We've got a huge box of a tv that could have been considered a big screen in the early 90's. He wants a minimum of a 55" screen. We've slowly been watching the prices drop down and now you can see them at Wal-Mart for about $600. DH jokingly commented about wanting a 55" HD LCD TV when BIL asked what he wanted.
BIL brought over our gifts tonight because he and his fiancee` are leaving for Oregon (where DH's parents live) this weekend. Now, we won't know for certain until we tear off wrapping paper on Christmas day, but guess what size one of the boxes are that he has by the tree.
It just makes me insanely uncomfortable to think that he could have gotten us a new tv. There's no way we can reciprocate in kind. I know he does it because he likes to give and I'm incredibly grateful for the things he gives us, I just wish he wouldn't spend so much money on us.
**********Everyone keeps putting the word "joking" in quotation marks as though we actually expect anyone to get us these things. We are always drawing a blank when it comes to gifts. DH told the same thing to his mother and to my parents. We also throw things out there like "a million bucks" or "pay off the mortgage". Even when we do bring up some of the things that we genuinely want, we follow it up with something to the effect that we don't want or expect them to get that; it's just something we want and that was what they asked. How seriously would you take it if you asked someone what they wanted and they said that they wanted a 55" tv? Seriously enough to get one on your own? And get accessories (there are other things here as well; one screams receiver and the other DH is guessing sound system but I think entertainment center). You probably wouldn't take it that seriously.