Although it pains me to start discussing Xmas a month in advance, I think I must.
Being a disbeliever (not even a pagan) I always try to avoid getting involved with this festival, and at the same time not spoil other people's fun or be accused of being a Scrooge.
Last year I decided to set aside what I could afford (I don't even understand buying friends and relatives gifts on credit!) and then buy gifts for poor strangers around the world (which seems in the original spirit of the thing). I bought a few goats, and bags of maize, and some school equipment. What my friends and relations got was a sort of reverse book-token - a card saying "I spent £25 on a goat in your name".
And yes I am a vegetarian, and yes I know that goats (eventually) get eaten...but I don't wish to impose my beliefs on anyone, as I said.
Emilia's mother Severina "We suffered much in the war in Angola, and things became very difficult after my husband died. last year I received maize and bean seed from Concern, which I just couldn't have afforded myself. This allowed me to feed my four children. More recently, I also received a pair of goats from Concern. They provide fertilizer for our crops and we have given away our first kid so that another family can have goats too. In future when our goat gives birth I hope to sell the offspring at the market which will bring in money to look after my family".
So why not think about it. At least spend the money you can actually afford on Concern, and then (if you must) use your credit to buy unnecessary (but no doubt fun) presents for people who don't yet have everything.
Check it out here www.concerngifts.org or ring them on 0800 731 5249 - and yes, they will send you a paper order form if you prefer.
Goats £25 School Supplies £15 Tools and seeds £30 Manual Water Pump £125 (Did you know that 200 million hours are spent each day by women and girs to collect water from distant, often polluted sources?) Mosquito Nets £10
7 Fruit Saplings £5 5 Chickens £7 Shelter Kit £40 Maize for a family for 2 months £90 Teacher Training £55