A number of years ago, my brother asked us to stop exchanging gifts and to donate what I would normally knit him. Now, I knit ALOT of items year-round that I give away one way or another such as school PAC, hospital, shelters, and to my son’s school when they take on a donation drive like the ShoeBox Project (eg http://www.shoeboxproject.com/victoria.html )
I was upset by my brother doing this, so the first year I still knit a bunch of items that I wrapped in a box for him with a note that he could choose where to donate the items. This has now become a yearly tradition – I gift a box of knits to my brother for him to donate to a cause of his choosing.
There are a number of charities accepting knits year-round, so if you knit, consider giving shelters some help during the year: