Edwin Denby’s attempt to link the famous Nutcracker ballet with the message of Christmas – from “envy and pain” to “invention and social harmony” – offers only part of the potential religious content of this seasonal ritual, says Spencer Dew.
Employees of the arms company Lockheed Martin experienced a surprise seasonal visit when activists turned up in festive costume to sing “updated” carols. The singers focused on the company's role in making nuclear weapons.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is facing strong criticism for participating in a carol service at a church that carries out “exorcisms” of gay people. The incident is being compared to Ken Livingstone's hosting of a fundamentalist Muslim.