In reality there are two main differences between me (aka the Birthday Grinch) and the green grouchy guy who lives at the top of a mountain. First, I don't take away gifts that are already given. If a friend brings a gift, we say "thank you,"and then we open it after the party.
And second, my reason for banning birthday presents is not because the little rug-rats irritate me with their joyfulness. On the contrary, I do it with their long-term happiness as an end goal. I figure guiding our kids to consume in a less rabid fashion is ultimately better.
How about you? How do you keep toy levels in check?