Christmas Family Donation

If you have a large family, grandchildren, and 10-20 gifts to buy at Christmas, it can be a real problem.  In reality, that is way too many gifts to buy – and even more realistic – the value goes down.  Shouldn’t the holidays be more about giving to others and not getting a ton of presents?  Especially when you get so many things you really don’t need?  We have a solution offered by one of our readers – an Annual Family Donation Drawing.    Consider the spirit of Christmas by giving something to someone who is needy.

A few weeks before Christmas, send an email out to all the adults noting that it is time to pick a charity for the annual donation drawing and explain this is a time of giving to those who are needy.  Here is how it works:

Each family writes  check for an amount equal to their family’s total age in years.  So, if you have two 40-year old parents, and 8 year old, and a 6 year old – you contribute (or donate) $94.  Each family does the same thing, tally up the ages and put a $1 per year for all family members.

Each family then submits a charity of their choice on who the entire family should donate to and write down their choice on a piece of paper.  Every family submits their idea and they are pooled into a hat for a drawing.

On Christmas morning, everyone arrives with kids, food, checks and charity names on their slip of paper.  Put all the names into the hat or bowl, and let the youngest draw the name that everyone will contribute to.

The organizer for the family then collects the various checks and gives to the family who had the winning charity who in turn, then writes a single check for the grand total to the charity of their choice.  The winning family gets to claim the entire donation on their income tax return.  Next year, they are the organizing family and the process repeats itself once again.

Of course, you can add any variation or twist that you like, but I thought this was a marvelous idea.  The result, you don’t get a bunch of gifts that you don’t need, everyone can feel good about the spirit of giving at Christmas to those who really need it – and a family gets a nice tax write-off for the year.  Give it a try!

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