You can notify them at the right moment. For instance, the possible event when you meet the other members is on Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving is a month before Christmas, you can tell them at the diner that for this year's Christmas they will have a no-gift Christmas tradition. Just be honest about your economic problem or something that you concern about, like donate the gifts to the orphan. You have to keep your word and do like what you've planned so no one is disappointed.
You can give her a knitted blanket to keep her warm while sitting on the couch with the grandchildren. Since she is a good baker, give her a square, rectangular, and recipe cutting board baker set will make her happy. A personalized birthstone necklace will make her feel young again. Another thing to keep her comfortable being at home all day is a pair of slippers. She will love a gardening kit and the small in-house garden for the herbs. To support her coffee or tea sipping routine, there is an electric kettle just for her.
There are many great eco-friendly Christmas gifts to save the world. There are a living composter and a compost bin for a cheaper price to support the eco-friendly movement. Since they ditch plastic bags, it will be better to give them some gifts with reusable produce bags and if you give them food, there are reusable bowl covers to cover the casserole. If you know your friend is new to this lifestyle, you can give them a zero-waste cookbook with a stainless steel water bottle and stainless steel straws as a bonus.
Surprisingly, there are gifts that are considered impolite to give on Christmas. First, there are souvenirs like a magnet, keychain, mug, and so on from your last trip. Then, when it comes to fashion, not everybody has the same style. As the result, it can be tricky to give your friend clothes. Giving a pet as a surprise Christmas gift is also a risky one because you need some preparation to commit to taking care of the pet. You can give cash to children. But, if it's between adults, you better substitute it with a gift card or anything that equals money but not money.