I think it depends on the situation. I normally hate it, but sometimes it's not too bad. Mil normally deposits cash into our saving account ( holiday / baby account), I rather that than some of the stuff she has got in the past.
This year I've got my sister a bras and things voucher as one of her gifts. she use to love her under garments but since the birth of my nephew as she is gone up a size she can't fit the old ones. I wanted to get her something that she had to spend on herself. Also mil and fil never go on date nights ( talk about it all the time but never go) so I got a movie voucher so again they have to go.