I think you can tell folks ahead of time that you really don't want or need anything for your birthday.
And then if you still receive a gift, say "Thank You."
And if you don't want to give a gift, then do not. If the other person sees you not giving a gift s/he will either stop because s/he really didn't want to be giving gifts or will continue and you can just keep saying "Thank You".
I don't give a gift with the intent of getting something in return. Some years I give gifts, some years I don't. It is just how I feel. And I never require or expect a gift.
Theresa & Gigi & Anisette & Enchante & Le Beau Ouiseaux Rouge