So Penguin asked me for five top tips for good deeds at Christmas. Despite having done my year of good deeds, I am slightly leery setting myself up as any moral authority on what is and is not a good deed (particularly bearing in mind I am a journalist and as Lord Leveson will point out tomorrow journalists have no kind of moral authority at all.) Still bearing in mind I am a firm believer in a free press, my first top tip for doing good at Christmas is:
"Buy charity cards direct from a charity. Every year you say you will, then your eye gets caught on that snowy, sparkly woodland in the department store. Put your hands up and step away from the robin."
And since I am writing about good deeds for Christmas I am going to have to in all conscience give them a go and do them myself.(Makes hand into gunshape and holds finger-barrel to own head.) Yesterday I duly went online and ordered 100 charity Christmas cards and today 60 of them arrived.
Anyone who knows me stand by your beds (doubtless already covered in your festive quilt and festooned with sparkling pointsettia lights.) The likelihood is you will soon be in receipt of a Giotto nativity from Arthritis Research UK; glittery snowdrops from Cancer Research; a leafless winter's tree (hopefully not an ash) from Save the Children; or this one called "Christmas Post" from Action for Children.
My husband looked a little confused at the delivery of the Christmas cards. This is because he is normally the one who writes them. In fact normally I never send a Christmas card. Not one. I haven't for years. Maybe one in a blue moon to an aged aunty but that is it. (Grits teeth and reaches for address book).