You don't sound b*tchy at all to me. But then again, I can totally relate.
Maybe try to make it funny... like "He's really shy, and needs some time to warm up to everyone. I'd hate to subject the whole group to his highly functional lungs! :)"
Anyone who has had a child will understand.
As for gifts - there's all sorts of fun homemade stuff I'm doing this year that's budget friendly. Cookies are good, or cookie mixes in a jar, Chocolate covered pretzels with xmas sprinkles, candy cane hot chocolate dippers, candied nuts... just a few ideas.