I think that is a wonderful idea to donate the money to a charity you feel close to and share about it.
Most of the people in my family are fortunate to have things. Most of us have learned "things" become unnecessary stuff. While all of us have to count change and be frugal, stopping the gift exchanges at Christmas (but doing gifts for just the kids) was practical, not so traditional.....I think we all miss it a bit. But if we are seeking emotions, the giving gives back 100 times more!
My DIL took it the hardest, she loves to shop and select "just the right thing" for people, and she's great at doing that. There are plenty of other opportunities for her to enjoy gifting at birthdays, etc.
Good read and the jump start for the charity vs gifting is the book Unplug the Christmas Machine.