I grew up in the former USSR in an urban secular family, where there was not even any mentioning of Christmas ever. Yet, my family always celebrated the New Year, and, just like many other families in the Slavic republics of the former USSR, we did it to some extent like Western families celebrate Christmas. There was always a big, beautifully decorated fur tree (nobody called it "Christmas tree," but in fact it was just that). There were candles, and the smell of a mysterious coniferous forest, and many visitors arriving to our home, beautifully dressed, celebrant. There was an enormous dinner served on a long table, and always lots of champagne and other drinks, and there were toasts, and funny speeches, and jokes, and dancing, and sweet family memories were shared. It was certainly the best day of the entire year. Guests usually stayed until at least 4 a.m., often even longer than that.
We never had this Western tradition of giving gifts on Christmas day or on the New Years day. It was our custom that gifts are given on birthdays. On the New Year's day or on one of the following days (between Jan. 1 and Jan. 10), there were celebrations in various clubs for children, and the little kids got "presents" (which were simply packages of sweets, never "things"); but the adults did not normally engage in gift-giving on winter holidays. Actually, later I learned that in Slavic countries, even before the Communist anti-theistic revolution, people usually did not regard gift-giving as part of Christmas celebration. Gifts were always given to children on the St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6), not on the Christmas day. Till, now, I, honestly, do not understand the mania about material presents on Christmas, I see it as a nuisance and nothing more.