For Chuck and Doris Nelson, the Christmas routine includes all the typical customs: putting up a tree, buying presents, planning family get-togethers. Atypical is the last item on the couple's list: giving $500 to the needy.
This year the Nelsons, both 70, gave their holiday gift to the Garden Grove Police Department to distribute to the needy as officers saw fit. The money went to buy food, clothing and toys for five families.
The Nelsons, who have lived in Garden Grove for 31 years, never meet the people they help, and that's part of their plan.
"We want to help, that's all," Chuck Nelson said. "There's always somebody who can use it. We like to share, but we'd rather do it through an agency for anonymity."
Chuck Nelson is a retired jet fighter pilot, and Doris Nelson is a medical social worker.
"They are great," said Lauren Vu, the police department's crime prevention officer, who did the shopping for the five families with the Nelson contribution. "They really want to help out their community."