Americans Cut Back On Holiday Gifts, But Not Charity

Though Americans are cutting back on holiday travel and party planning, they're not slashing the amount they donate to charity between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A recent American Red Cross survey found that seven in 10 Americans plan to give more, or about the same, this holiday season. That's a 10 percentage point increase from last year.

"Despite the difficult economy Americans want to give to help others in need," said Red Cross President and CEO Gail J. McGovern. "With so many people out of work, they want to give something that means something."

While charities will get a boost, the survey, which polled 1,020 adults, found that there's a gender divide when it comes to giving funds to those in need. Seventy percent of women said helping out the less fortunate gets them get through the holidays, while only 61 percent of men agreed.

But, men hardly turn into the Grinch when it comes to opening up their wallets. One-third of men plan to donate more than $100, while one-fifth of women said they'll offer up that much.

Want to give a gift that will make someone else's season? Peruse the Red Cross' holiday catalogue, which offers donors a host of opportunities, from vaccinating an entire village to buying phone cards for members of the armed forces.