Shine a light this Christmas

Issue 1133

Shine a light this Christmas

Last Christmas we brought a cover with two hundred vendors’ faces on it. This year we’ve gone bigger. It’s The Big Issue family tree – as many parts of the big, brilliant messy community who help make The Big Issue function and exist as we could fit. It’s a tree made up of hundreds and hundreds of images of our vendors, readers, volunteers, supporters – a collection of portraits, selfies and cats reading the magazine. You might be on it. We salute everyone involved – light bringers all!

Inside, it’s a belter. I’ll be brief…

It’s Christmas, so we look to heaven and earth – great interviews with Sir David Attenborough and Professor Brian Cox. Plus a fascinating insight on what it’s like being the wife of an astronaut on Christmas day, looking up as your husband flies past on the International space station.

As the debate around food banks intensifies, we thought it’d be interesting to see what makes up a food bank Christmas dinner. We detail what it’ll be for an awful lot of people in different parts of of Britain.

We celebrate vendor success stories – some of our sellers who used the magazine as a springboard to new jobs. This involves chocolate and yoga. More successes next week too.

Our Letter To My Younger Self is a celebratory best of, bringing together a number of the big names and the incredible things they’ve said in 2014. Roger Moore, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Malcolm McDowell and Sheila Hancock are just a few of the folk in. Also, see how you do in the The Big Issue Big Quote of the Year Quiz.

John Bird delivers his annual Christmas message. It’s A Christmas Carol, with a twist.

Our columnist Robert McLiam Wilson also has a Christmas message. You might think differently about turkey afterwards…

We reveal The Big Issue Book of the Year – PLUS our expert panel (which includes Robert Macfarlane, Shaun Usher and Jackie Kay) detail their reads of 2014.

Ten years on from the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami we talk to two brothers who were orphaned in the disaster, but have turned their lives around to build an international company making flip flops. An incredible story.

Our Pause spot is taken by celebrated photographer and film-maker Anton Corbijn who explains how to take great photos

Hello/Goodbye. This week, our featured vendor on page 3 and the final page is Rob Coole, in Bristol. He’s look to rebuild his life and links with his family. He’s looking up.

There is much more – Economics with Dominic Laurie, A Week in Geek looking ahead to what’s coming 2015, a piece on the football pitches of the 1914 Christmas day truce 100 years on, the Eastenders star whose peccadillo is horseback archery. And more besides!