For several years now, my family has decided to donate to charity in lieu of gifts to each other. We have given to Unicef, Heifer, CharityWater, to name a few. Helping someone on the other side of the world to become self-reliant feels better to me than receiving a bunch of things I really don't need. (And it saves on standing in the exchange line on December 26th.) It's much more consistent with the Christmas spirit.
This year, I've chosen OxFam. Their letter to me this year pointed out that they don't waste money on gimmicks like address labels and I appreciate that. Charitynavigator.org shows they spend 78.9% of their budget on program expenses and their company president makes a salary of $327,192. (I can't stand charity CEOs who make millions.) I recommend checking out your charity here before donating. You can even look at their list of top-rated charities if you need ideas.
Here's OxFam's mission statement: Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of
poverty, hunger, and injustice. We save lives, develop long-term
solutions to poverty, and campaign for social change. As one of 17
members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in
more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions.