Hundreds of New Zealanders are set to wake up on Christmas Day with a cow, goat or field of beans in their stockings, thanks to an innovative fundraising campaign by an aid agency.

Oxfam NZ has this year offered an "unwrapped range" of gifts as a fun way to give something with meaning this Christmas.

Some of the quirky, but life-saving, items include $20 goats and $5 fields of beans. Both have already sold out, with more than 2000 purchases of each.

Oxfam accepts orders by phone, post or online and sends a card, which can be personalised, with an image of the gift.

The card tells the recipient that they have been bought something that will go to a community that needs it most to fight poverty.

Prue Smith, the organisation's communications manager, said she had heard of one company that sent out fields of beans as its Christmas card this year.

An Auckland law firm is promoting the scheme by decorating its Christmas tree with pictures of goats and cows and providing order forms at its reception.

Prue Smith said the good will extended beyond Christmas.

"Classrooms of kids have been collecting to buy goats and textbooks, and the wedding list for one couple getting married has been the Oxfam unwrapped catalogue."

Aucklander James Dashfield yesterday bought a $50 cow as a Christmas present request from his 74-year-old mother.

Mr Dashfield said his grandmother shunned alternatives of towels, skin repairer, or orthopaedic jandals to insist on a cow, or at least a goat.

"She said she felt like giving something to those who really could do with something special."

Prue Smith said Oxfam was flat out filling orders and, aside from emergency appeals, it was the organisation's most successful fundraiser.

"I expect we will do it again."

Oxfam in Britain first used the concept about three years ago. It has since spread to its sister organisations around the world.

Items still available include building materials, textbooks and trees.

The most expensive item is the $1000 school.

A building is converted to a school to teach 100 children by providing textbooks, exercise books, pens, colouring pencils, teaching aids and guides.