Would You Give Up One of Your Holiday Gifts for Charity?

Presents When I was in college, I lived with four roommates. Instead of giving each other holiday gifts, we pooled our money each year to adopt a local family in need. Two of my roommates shopped for things on the family’s wish list, and we wrapped and delivered their gifts. I thought it was a great tradition—instead of receiving some tchotchke that I probably didn’t need, I felt that we were able to do something meaningful.

I’m in good company. About 4 out of 10 people would be willing to forgo another holiday gift and have that cash donated to charity instead, according to a recent survey by the Red Cross. In fact, 80 percent of survey respondents said that if they were asked, they’d be more than happy to give to charity instead of buying a present for someone. (Maybe some of that’s because some people are so hard to shop for, but hopefully not all of it.)

It’s heartening to know that even when times are tough, people still have charity in mind. According to the survey, almost 90 percent intend to donate this season, and half of those will give more than $50.

Have you or your family ever skipped gift-giving in favor of donating to charity? Would you?