I don't know why people try to avoid giving out plain cash as christmas presents. I am Chinese and we give out red envelope for Chinese new year. But you can give this a try if you want to make it a bit different and more fun. I came across this posting about making money wreath. Check out the original link here for a tutorial video.
I used 15 pieces of $1 bills. A bit fabric ribbons of whatever I had in my collection box and a few stickers. But you could always come up with whatever ideas you have to decorate your money wreath. Have fun.