As I commented on the article, this is not a new idea to my family. Several years ago we opted out of the extended family gift exchanges. Now we buy a few simple gifts for our young children, and everything else we would have spent is direct to charities that meant something to us over the past year. Gone are waiting in long lines, mounds of discarded wrapping paper, and stress about what to get for the people who have everything they need and want. We have replaced it with an evening by the fire, sipping wine, writing out a few checks, and talking with our children about the causes we feel are important.
Some have said we are robbing our children of the "Christmas experience". I disagree. There are a few gifts to open --- one of the heart, one for the mind, and one for the soul. On top of that we are instilling in them that anyone can make a difference in our world, not just those with billions. And the spirit of giving has never been greater felt in our home. This is not a fit for every household, but I encourage you to give it some thought.
Image credit: www.sxc.hu - free image