I just wanted to share a Christmas tradition:
For the past few years one of my friends and I host one of my favorite things of the holiday season.
We start by inviting everyone that we would normally give a neighbor gift to, we invite them to a night of sharing and giving. We choose a charity that we want to help with and have people bring something to donate to that charity...we chose a local shelter. Everyone brings something to donate to the shelter like non-perishable foods, clothing, diapers, cash, or whatever.
On the night of our get together, my friend and I make some treats and set them out in the garage, we light some heaters, and have plenty of scooters and wiggle bikes ready for the kids. Then our neighbors and friends show up, the kids all play around, the adults mingle, everyone enjoys some donuts and wassail. Its a low key event that has grown with each passing year. The idea is to do this in lieu of giving neigborhood gifts. As more people get involved, it becomes funner and funner. On our invitation it tells people to extend this invite to others, and they do! This year I met some new people that I did not know, it just so much fun!
At the end of the night, we load up my excursion, and the next day I go to the local shelter and deliver our loot. This tradition has quickly become something that I hope many others besides me look forward to.