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Issue 1236 - Merry Christmas

Here it is, the big Christmas santa special.

I’ll be brief. At the heart of this edition is a celebration of the people going above and beyond for Christmas – the football clubs, the cafes, the mosques, the dominatrix – all of whom are opening their doors on Christmas day and inviting in the lonely, the elderly, struggling families, the homeless and others who won’t be feeling the Christmas cheer like the rest of it. All this week we’ll be asking readers to tell us about the great people we’ve missed out and we’ll give them their dues on bigissue.com

We’ve also got Peter Capaldi talking Doctor Who and explaining why he is backing The Big Issue library campaign.

As the ongoing crisis of Aleppo continues, we speak to refugees who have managed to find some settled peace in Britain about what they miss from home at this time of year.

Micheal Rosen explains why he’s kvelling about the TV adaptation of We’re Going on A Bear Hunt.

We feature the blind former Big Issue vendor Jo Adamson who has become an incredibly successful artist. Great story.

Pete Tong talks about the joy of vinyl.

We have the 1595 Mercator map that, to our eyes, uncovered where santa lives. That’s a talker.

John Bird brings his Christmas message – why after 25 years of helping the homeless help themselves The Big Issue heads into 2017 more ready than ever to keep fighting the good fight.

We have our Books of The Year rundown, a fantastic collection in which we reveal our Book of The Year, and we welcome an incredible panel – including Nick Cohen, Susan Hill, Mo Farah, Julia Bradbury, Andrea Riseborough and Neil Gaiman – revealing their own books of the year. Readers also tell us about their choices. A very well-read bunch, the Big Issue readers.

Look out also for Hannah McGill explaining why a Christmas trip to an independent cinema could start a great new family tradition; our Radio critic Robin Ince picks the radio you need to listen to in order to escape festive madness. And much loved vendor Easton Christian, who sells at White City, gets everybody in the festive mood.

AND A FREE NEIL GAIMAN AUDIOBOOK FOR EVERY READER.

Please note once this edition is no longer on sale with Big Issue vendors (from Monday 26th December) it will be classed as a 'back issue'. All back issues are priced at £4 per copy plus P&P

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