First, my family agreed to drastically reduce the amount of money we spend on gifts. Usually we kind of get out of control, so we all agreed to spend $50 or less on each other. I think this will help us concentrate on the fact that Christmas should be all about the time spent together, and not so much how long it takes us to open a mountain of gifts.
Second, DH and I decided to split our spending limit. We agreed to limit ourselves to $100, but half of that is to go to a charity of our choice. I chose the Humane Society of Canada, since I have a soft spot for those furry creatures big and small (I also give to the World Wildlife Fund each month). DH chose to give his $50 to the Canadian Cancer Society.
In the same vein as Andrea mentioned in the comments of the this post, we will also be budgeting a small amount each month of 2010, and we will chose a different charity/cause to donate too.
I think this is a great use of our money, especially since our families are blessed, and, really, we don’t need to be spending it on ourselves. There are so many great causes out there that really need our help, and it feels good to help with what we can.