At several meetings I attended over the past week, including a radio interview, a holiday networking party and a local fund-raising initiative, I heard a wide variety of women saying, “I just can’t do the obligatory holiday gift giving anymore. Who needs another sweater?”

So I suggest we shift gears, revamp rituals and simultaneously move the needle.

Why not institute a personal charitable tradition into your holiday gift giving?

For that matter, why not adopt charitable giving for all friend and family ceremonies, markers and events. That’s not to say that we should cease exchanging personal gifts with loved ones altogether. I believe treats count. I believe in judicious indulgences for everyone. Plus, paying homage to the work of graduation, the joy of birth, the foundation of family ties and the evolution of life’s changes is ever so important.

Yet surely there’s room for both, no?

For instance, I recently heard about a bride-to-be whose friends were hosting a wedding shower for her. She asked that the friends include a charitable element – some giving – into the party. How easy is that?

What I like so much about this option is that it is just that easy. And has an incalculable multiplier effect that could significantly benefit and grow giving for any of the causes we care about.

Wouldn’t that make for happy holidays?