This year, there are more organizations in need of help and less people who have money to spare; this formula does not bode well for charities or the people who rely on them. The misconception that it takes deep pockets to give to charity scares away some potential givers. The truth is, any amount counts and is appreciated.
Last year, the co-worker I randomly chose for our Secret Santa gift exchange asked for a contribution to a charity that meant something to her. Our spending limit wasn't much, but every small donation adds up to something powerful. If your cousin is passionate about the Amazon Rainforest, why not donate to conserve a special piece of the Amazon? Your contribution would help to protect what they love.
When you look around, there is a charity for pretty much everything. You could give to a particular organization in lieu of holiday gifts, or as a compliment to them. It is the season of giving, after all. Have you given charitable gifts in the name of someone on your holiday list?