I have rather strong objections to "presents", myself, especially those that are socially mandated due to the commercialization of various annual events. Of the things above, a critique is likely the best thing to offer to someone else. At the same time, it can be the worst thing to offer to someone else (especially if the critic, or the artist, isn't very good). So it's a two-edged sword.
Faves that are given as presents because they "have to" aren't really that welcome. If someone faves you only because of that obligation, what does that tell the artist?. Nothing really good, that's for sure.
As for stories/poems, well, let's just say that having read many by many people, it's FAR more likely the effort would be much more appreciated rather than the actual results. As unkind as it is to say it, most people can't write worth a damn. And most poems mean something far more, and far different, to the person writing them than the person reading them. So those, too, are a seriously mixed bag when it comes to being given to others.
All in all, I understand the motivation behind this poll. It's nice to be nice to others. We try to encourage each other and not dash hopes and dreams while they're still in the womb. But to be honest, and likely unpopular, the fact is, 99.999% of us here will do little more with our dreams than watch them die. It's harsh. It's nasty. But it's the truth.
The reason for this truth is simple: Most artists want validation of their work. They want to be recognized. They want to be popular. They want to make money. They want other people to like what they do. They live for the ooh's and ah's of their friends standing in awe of what they did, and feel crushed if someone points out what they see as flaws in their work. They begin to question their own talents, their own commitment, their own dream, and become resentful toward those who have taken it away or questioned their talents and vision. This is an AWFUL way to go through life.
Most people, even those with great talent, will never see "success" as it's popularly understood. Life isn't fair. People will only recognize what they see often, and they won't see the work of an unknown often enough to bring that unknown's dream to reality - except in a minuscule number who have or make the right connections. You can promote yourself to death and shout from the top of every building. Certainly that's one way to be noticed and it does occasionally work. It's not the norm, though. Behind virtually every success story is that incredibly rare and improbable connection, that "in", that "discovery" which turns someone who's been working and struggling on their craft for decades into an "overnight" success. Obviously, trying to get validation of what you do through others is a very bad idea.
Were I to give a gift to any artist of any kind, it would be these hard lesson learned over 40+ years of dreaming and tens of millions of words of writing: BE REALISTIC.
Hope for the best and expect the worst. Grow a skin as thick as a Battleship. Never listen to your friends because they want to stay your friends and won't tell you the truth (your spouse may be truthful, if you have a solid marriage). Strangers offer you the best input, but you need to take that as an average. Don't focus on either the positive or the negative, but become aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Maintain the former, and fix the latter.
Above all, do what you do because you love to do it. Don't do it for your "Fans". Don't do it for your editors or agents or others who tell you what you need to do to be "successful" unless you love to do what they told you to do. If you don't love what you do, you'll hate life. The idea here is to be the tour-guide through the scenery of your mind. It's YOUR mind, YOUR story, YOUR imagery. Your scenery will either appeal to people, or it won't. That's the crap-shoot. Loving the process of creation is where your focus HAS to be in order to have any chance at contentment. They are your legacy, what you leave to the world, and somewhere down the line, someone may be willing to take that tour you created - and like it. That's not the goal. That's the icing on the cake.
This is my gift to the folks here, and I'm not waiting until the traditional winter solstice festivities to give this to you. I hope it helps.
I voted for critiques, but I've gotta say, the idea of involuntary faves seems really hollow to me. I get that it's supposed to be a tool to help spread the writer's work to those who are fave-stalking, but as a measure of enjoyment it's disappointing to have someone say "I thought this was great because I was obligated to do so."
Feedback happens to be one of my favorite things to receive; the same, I know, goes for many others not only in this group but also around this site. Critiques/in-depth comments would be a wonderful gift....although, how would they be secret santas?
It would be nearly impossible for anything traded on this website to be really 'secret', since nothing can really be posted anonymously. It would just take the idea of the secret santa process - throwing participating names into a hat, and giving each participant a random one to give to.