We lucked out this year. First, our gift for our niece, Shalom, was a hit! She liked it so much that her parents had trouble getting her to pay attention to all her other gifts. We gave her an Elmo/Cookie Monster phone.
We gave Kevin some similar gifts. He got a little ball that has Elmo's face on one side and Cookie on the other. They both giggle and shake. Then we got him an Elmo hammer that lights up and makes music when he shakes it. He also got a baby Elmo that sings and hums when you give him his pacifier. Kevin keeps trying to suck on Elmo's pacifier.
At my brother, Ricky's, house I somehow lucked into being his daughter, Riley's, favorite person for the night. She kept running up to hug me and be held. She even cried and fussed when I would hand her back to her parents! She's about 14 months old and incredibly loving and sweet. It was a fun surprise to be an instant favorite!