For Christmas my first year at Maple Grove, we (me, the other counselor-Lisa, and our secretary-Beth) exchanged gifts, but after that, we decided that instead of giving each other gifts, we'd make a donation to a charity. We gave to St. Susan's Soup Kitchen a couple times, donated money for Christmas boxes that were given to children in need, and other local charities.
This year, Lisa showed us a web site called www.heifer.org. The purpose of the organization is to "buy" animals for needy people around the world. For example, you can buy bees that are given to people who will raise them for their honey and wax. You can buy ducks, chicks, rabbits, pigs, etc... I really appreciate the concept, however, I'm not comfortable with the idea of giving animals as gifts, and then having those animals slaughtered. Kind of goes against my beliefs.