Which Sandman collection is best for December?
Preludes and Nocturnes (Sandman #1-8)
Dream Country (four independent stories)
Fables and Reflections (a number of independent stories)
Brief Lives (a later story arc that I just particularly like, from what I recall)
Another Sandman GN which I shall name in comments
Another work entirely which WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?
Which Sandman collections would generally be a good idea?
Preludes and Nocturnes
Fables and Reflections
Another Sandman book
Another work entirely (DIAF)
Some quick arguments for/against each:
Preludes and Nocturnes is a bit before Gaiman hit his stride in the series, and less "mythic" overall. It is, however, a good introduction since it's, well, the start. (And it's not as rough comparatively as, say, the first Discworld books.) And as [Unknown LJ tag] noted earlier, one of the particular stories is just ooo.
Preludes and Nocturnes and Dream Country might work well for Parasha because of their similarity to short story collections, ie the self-containedness of the sections. Dream Country is only four issues though, which while it'd make reading in between holidays easier, might be a bit on the short side still.
Brief Lives is more in the center of the series and enjoyable, but might not be as newbie-friendly.
Anyhow, have at it!