Doing December Differently explores how people of faith and goodwill might mark the midwinter season and the Christmas festival with integrity and simplicity. How can we include others and celebrate difference without putting us all under intolerable strain, or perpetuating false and oppressive myths of the ideal family life?
Drawing on ancient roots but also minting fresh language, fresh gestures, fresh meanings, what rites, rituals and ceremonies might we use that are meaningful to us today to help us mark out the days and nights of this midwinter season?
How might we acknowledge our connections with family members, friends and others who are significant to us, in ways that are life-giving and joyful, rather than compulsive and draining?
In other words, how might we do December differently? In addressing such issues and questions, this book presents personal stories, reflections on the origins, diverse meanings and customs associated with Christmas, and liturgical and ritual resources that can be adapted and used in the home, in group gatherings and in church settings.
Rosie Miles is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Wolverhampton. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow at the Queen's Foundation, Birmingham. They are both poets and are widely published in Wild Goose and other anthologies.