My husband and I have never had much spare cash - we've been saving hard to buy our first home, and now trying to pay it off as quickly as we can - so birthday and Christmas gifts are almost always on a budget, but come with much love and thought. It's amazing how creative you can be with $20!
My husband's birthday falls in winter in Australia. For the first birthday my husband had after I came on the scene, I knitted him a very 'homemade' looking scarf as part of his birthday gift. There were more holes in it than a sieve, but it was made with love from a person with zero pervious knitting experience. While knitting this first scarf, I had an idea - how about I knit my husband a scarf for his birthday every year, then after about 20 or so years, I can stitch them together (or get someone else to), to make a blanket. A very special blanket, made with love - a history and a story.
If you have a loved one with a birthday in winter, and not much spare cash either, it might be a tradition you'd like to start, too. Especially if you suck at knitting and craft - it just goes to show your loved one how much you love them :)