Every year for the past 3 years I've been doing a "Birthday for Charity" where I ask everyone who wants to give me a present to donate money to my favorite charity instead. This is because (1) I don't need things and (2) even if I did, there are people who need things far more than I do.
Please consider having your own Birthday for Charity - and or pitch in for mine: [link]
This year I'm raising $1000 for Deworm the World, an organization that provides a remedy for a problem that causes severe illness in over 300 million people world wide and kills about 150,000 annually. It costs about $3.50 per person treated (for life!) and turns out to increase school attendance better than any other intervention. Deworm the World ([link]
is probably the most effective charity in the world.