There's Christmas and then there's Christmas shopping.
Last year I really enjoyed buying from companies such as Toms (yes, they're pricey but you ARE actually buying two pairs of shoes at a time), and the company FashionABLE, which are women in Africa who make scarves, the money provides a safe place and a JOB for women who were once on the street.
And of course, you have world vision who, whether you sponsor a child or not, gives you the opportunity to provide something very needful to a family over seas; a goat, chickens, mosquito net, bibles, or even a cow.
I have also found a new one this morning. It's at www.3cordshaiti.com
This small company provides women in Haiti who dealt with devastation from the aftermath of the hurricane a shelter and steady job. Women who made have had to have amputations, etc. They have some of the cutest products; Purses, tote bags, Mac covers, ipad covers, hair cords, etc.
I don't know about you, but when Christmas comes around, I love knowing my money is going to help somewhere AND it's marking names off my Christmas list. FashionABLE scarves even offers wrapping & each scarf comes with a picture and the story of the woman who made it. I have yet to buy from 3cords, hopefully I will get a chance considering everything says 'Sold out' this morning.
We also love Operation Christmas child. They are even providing the boxes for you, and you can (online only) track your box alllll the way to the the child that receives it. If you have children, they might enjoy this. You're even allowed to put a letter in there spreading the Gospel and the greatest love story.
You also have your local children's shelter & those Angel trees for something more local. Justin and I used to do the Angel tree every year before getting more involved in ways to actually shop for family AND give. Whatever fits your situation, I can't think of a better family project. It makes huge impacts on your own children watching them change from, "what do I want this year...." to, "I get to pick out all their gifts....yay!"