Along this same line of thought:
I try to give when I can during the holidays. You always hear a lot about donating food and clothing, toys, etc, which is sooo important. But one year, we heard of a family that needed help. They had a bunch of stuff donated--toys, food, the landlord even gave them a break on rent for the month for the kids' sake. What they did not have was a Christmas tree. So we went to a local dollar store (we couldn't afford much ourselves!) and bought a Christmas tree, and canvased everyone we knew to find Christmas ornaments and such that they didn't need anymore. Turns out we came up with quite a nice collection, and the joy that those kids had knowing they would get to put up a tree was priceless. I know there are some local charities that give out trees around here, too, but I had never even thought of the idea before that year. So, if you are getting rid of old artificial trees, decorations, etc, maybe you can find somewhere to donate them to a needy family. It may not be a necessity like food, clothes, etc, but it could sure brighten up a family's holiday!