Last Sunday I went to a carol service on a lifeboat, held to help raise money for the RNLI, a charity that saves lives at sea.
I went along partly because I think the RNLI is an extremely worthwhile cause, but also because I love a chance to sing - and singing carols is such a seasonal thing to do.
But, I must admit, it is a guilty pleasure. After all, carols are essentially Christian and, being a pagan, I sort of feel that I shouldn't enjoy them so much.
In particular, I can't help feeling that before going along to any Christian event, such as a carol service, I ought to ask the organisers if they don't mind a witch joining in.
While I was standing on the frosty harbourside last Sunday, waiting for the service to start, I kept half expecting someone to point at me and say: "She shouldn't be here - she's a witch!" And then my over-active imagination saw me being driven from the happy throng in shame at attempting to sully their religious event with my unwanted pagan presence.
Of course nothing like that happened, or would have happened. I'm sure if I had asked the organisers, they would have welcomed me with open arms. But I know I'm too shy to do that - and next year I'll go along to another carol concert in aid of some worthy cause and hope no one spots the little witch standing at the back, singing at the top of her voice while praying not to be noticed.
You can find out more about the RNLI at http://www.rnli.org.uk/ You can also support the RNLI by buying Christmas cards and presents at http://www.rnlishop.org.uk/christmas.html - all profits go to helping save lives at sea.
The photo at the top is from the RNLI press centre and shows Seahouses all-weather lifeboat launched to the assistance of two surfers, who were in serious difficulty in rough seas during a force eight gale. After the lifeboat had launched, information was then received from the coastguard that the surfers had safely reached the shore unaided.