Rather than bemoaning Christmas as a commercial feeding frenzy with a heartless vacuum at its core, many of my friends see it as an opportunity to support the organisations they care about and express their values.
As ever some of the best Christmas gifts this year came via Oxfam. Pascoe bought me a training package for a teacher in the developing world, and John, a friend whom I help get to church, got me a goat.
Usually I would be happy to think of people in some developing country with great big smiles on their faces, lives transformed by the gift of a goat or teaching resources.
But just this year, I feel slightly peeved not to have access to the goat. The weather has been so warm that our grass has kept on growing. I could really do with that goat to mow the lawn.