Now that I am getting old and really don't need any more clutter around my flat, I have come to love the idea of receiving donations in my name to charitable causes as opposed to yet-another cool-tech-gadget-Ill-never-open-because-I-can't-find-the- chainsaw-and-that-darn-plastic-casing-they-use-is-blonde-proof. Last Christmas I received donations to the Canary Foundation for Early Detection of Cancer and 100 trees from Arborday.org. Two gifts (and great organizations) that will keep on giving through a better life for myself and the people I love.
EchoAge encourages children to sign up and send out their wish to raise money for a charitable contribution. People can donate any amount of money they are comfortable with; safely, quickly, and easily online. The organization sends half the money raised to the charity of the child's choice and the other half to the birthday kid so they can get one big present that they really want instead of a bunch of little toys. Not sure how many young kids will be willing to do this, but its a great concept. Check it out!