Last year I promoted selecting charities that are meaningful to those on your Christmas gift (the humane society for the animal lover, American Heart Association for someone who has or has lost someone to heart disease, etc) and making donations to those charities in the name of your gift recipient:
Random Thoughts by Lynne Hinkey: Christmas shopping?
That's what Matt and I have been doing for the past few years and will continue to do this year. Very few of those on our gift lists really need any store bought items or more clutter for their households but they all have causes near and dear to their hearts. We'll contribute to those causes on their behalf. I hope you'll all consider doing the same.