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12:53 UK time, Monday, 24 December 2007

Re: How to receive a goat (and other unglamorous gifts). As a 40-year-old working professional, I don't really *need* anything so last year I asked for charity donations. Many people didn't heed the requests, but my 'main' present was clean drinking water for 150 people. It was the most emotional present I'd ever had and I still well up when I think about it now. After all, what do I need compared with basic drinking water. If all the money we spend on Christmas for ONE YEAR was given to charity I'm convinced we'd wipe out poverty and disease for ever.
Bill Turner, Bristol

Last year I bought my little sister a charity gift (which we'd agreed to do beforehand); it was a supply of fertiliser. I wonder what her facial expression would have been if I had *actually* given her a pile of poo for Christmas . . .
Matt, London, UK

If someone decided to donate a goat or whatever to some 'charity' then next year I would inform them I had spent their Christmas present on a beer or Indian meal for myself. However fortunately I don't know any such precious people.Happy Christmas one and all.
Steve Brown, Bracknell UK

To Ken in Chelmsford (Friday's letters), I think you'll find that you won't get your goat - but some grateful family in Africa probably will. I'll get my gloat.
Jimlad, Paris

"There were 1580 cosmetic treatments in the UK on average last year." Isn't applying bog standard makeup a "cosmetic treatment'? And where does the 'on average' come into it? Per week? Per person? Per rock star? I'll get me kohl.
Angus Gafraidh, London UK

A case of "out of the fire - into the frying pan?"
Naomi P, West Sussex

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