A second choice of books to help prepare the way for Christmas
There is something instinctively repugnant about preparing for the consumer-fest of Christmas with exorbitant Advent calendars full of gin and other luxury items to whet already sated appetites. An Advent Book of Days: Meeting the Characters of Christmas (Canterbury Press, £9.99; Tablet price £9) by the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory K. Cameron, offers considerable richness in terms of biblical, literary and artistic reflection in daily encounters with familiar characters in the countdown to Christmas. Bringing together history, legend, popular faith and the author’s own iconography, it combines breadth of learning with an engaging lightness of touch. The individual Magi in their exuberant polka-dot trews rub shoulders with St Nicholas, an African St Lucy and the Little Drummer Boy.