While I don't think I would replace an actual Christmas present with a "X dollars of money has been donated in your name to Y Charity," I do like the idea of donating to charity instead of sending flowers when someone dies.
Floral arrangements for funerals are ridiculously expensive (talk about taking advantage of a time of grieving!) and just get thrown away within 24 hours of them being sent. (Unlike when you send them for say, Mother's Day, and the recipient can enjoy them for a week or so.) At least when you donate to a charity that may have been special to the dearly departed, good work can be done in their name.
Just my personal thoughts on the matter, and they aren't worth the bytes used to type this.
Oh my dear, you most certainly may use as many bytes as needed for the sharing of your thoughts. By doing that, we all benefit. (Now, you do realize that I said that so you'll feel obligated to read my
personal thoughts on the matter
I love flowers at a funeral. I wish I could afford to send more out. Perhaps it comes from my father's funeral many years ago. I remember walking into the funeral home and being overwhelmed by a wall of floral tributes. We counted forty-one arrangements. I felt loved and cared for.
Many thoughtful families will request that only a few flowers be taken to the gravesite. Some may be taken home and enjoyed there. Some are given to the church. Some are given to nursing homes and similar places. There's no need for them to be thrown away when so many people can appreciate them. It's also possible to send potted plants that will last indefinitely in the pots or transplanted in a place where the departed will be remembered for many years.
Donations to a charity are also quite acceptable, of course as well. But I don't like the mention of the dollar amount on the card. Simply say, "A donation has been made...." The family may receive a receipt at some point, but at least there's no public display of the amount. It would be like leaving the price sticker on a gift to be sure the recipient is aware of the dollars/pounds/euros/etc spent.