Midwinter rituals

A three-part group experiment in rekindling and creating new anti-consumerist midwinter rituals.

Book your place for December 2023 – January 2024.


Join us as we explore the impact on people and planet of how we celebrate Christmas, New Year and other winter events in the UK.

  • We will more deeply understand the violence that consumerist rituals inflict on other humans and the more-than-human world, and sit with the grief and discomfort this may cause
  • We will cast our attention backwards, or sidewards, to midwinter rituals lost, othered or left behind, and hope that they act as inspiration for something new
  • We will each craft our own experiment for a new midwinter ritual for the Christmas and New Year period
  • We will return in the new year to reflect on how our experiment went, how we feel, and what we want to do next

The experience will take place over three sessions

  • Session 1, online in December
  • Session 2, online in December
  • Session 3, online or in person (Exeter or Manchester) in January

What you get from this experiment

  • A brave space to engage with the violence of modern Christmas and New Year  
  • Learn about midwinter’s forgotten / othered rituals 
  • Craft your own midwinter ritual to celebrate with your loved ones 
  • Connect with others that share similar feelings around Christmas and New Year

This experiment is for you if

  • You sense that the way we celebrate Christmas and New Year in the UK could be happier, healthier and more just
  • Around the winter holiday period, you feel pressure to behave in ways that you are not comfortable with
  • You are worried about the impact on others and on the planet of the way you celebrate the winter holidays


Session 1: Online, Thursday 7 December, 1pm – 3pm (GMT)

Session 2: Online, Thursday 14 December, 1pm – 3pm (GMT)

Session 3:

– Online, Wednesday 17 January, 1pm – 3pm (GMT) 

– In person, Exeter / Manchester, Thursday 18 January TBC


  • The violence of consumerism: the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures project poses 4 denials that prop up the mess we are in and allow harmful systems to continue. We will touch on all 4 denials, but the course explicitly aims to address the denial of systemic violence and our complicity in the harm inflicted by the way we live.
  • Ecological connection: We believe that the capitalist, consumerist rituals of Christmas and New Year contribute to a disconnection that we feel from the more-than-human world (another of the denials mentioned above). We want to take inspiration from the wild and from human practices that see us as entangled with nature.
  • The end of an era: We believe that the stories of “more” that we are told no longer make sense, or have never made sense. The economic systems that inform the ways many of us live are causing enormous suffering to people and planet, and funnelling wealth into the hands of a few. The way we live now is inherently unsustainable, and so this era will come to an end. Our work is to acknowledge this and help imagine radically better ways of being on this planet.
  • Experimentation: We believe that there is no big technological solution that will save us. No superhero. We believe that the ‘answer’ isn’t fully known yet, or maybe can’t even be imagined. We believe that what is needed now is experimentation in new ways of being that may unlock radically better futures.
  • Community: We recognise that when exploring how to make individual changes, there is a risk of falling into the trap of purity politics. We acknowledge that we are in a complex mess that we are all a part of. We believe that by coming together in community and seeing this complexity, we can co-create something radically better.


Contribute what you can, anywhere from £0 to £100. We suggest a payment range of £30 to £60.

Consider paying more if: 

  • You have lots of disposable income
  • You have lots of savings
  • Your company is funding the place

Feel free to pay less if:

  • You are struggling with the cost of living
  • You don’t have savings or have limited income
  • You are unemployed or on benefits

A note on costs

LearnJam derives income from a number of sources. The intention behind these experiments is not to fully sustain the company financially; although that is a factor.

Our goal is to learn what works in helping people imagine and pursue radically better ways of living on this planet.

We hope to connect to new people through our experiments and learn from the discussions we have. We also hope that these experiments will lead to other opportunities for LearnJam to receive income or funding.