Can you believe Christmas is almost here? Neither can we! 2018 has just whizzed by, and for all you first-timers at University, you’re probably wondering where on earth that first term just went. Only yesterday it seemed as though you were in Ikea with your parents wondering whether you needed that lime green toilet brush, and now you’re already getting ready to pack up and head home in less than a month.
But Uni isn’t over quite yet, and Christmas doesn’t start when you’re back home. Christmas starts now; there are presents, food and decorations to be enjoyed long before the big day actually arrives. So, here’s our guide on how to have a Very Merry Student Christmas before you head home for the holidays.
A classic Christmas event, Secret Santa is an absolute staple; love them or hate them, they are certain to get everyone in the mood for the festivities – and they have the advantage of completely avoiding the awkwardness of figuring out which housemates you should buy a gift for.
Whether it’s picking names from a hat or using an online name drawing tool, everyone gets one person to buy a gift for, guaranteeing (hopefully) that everyone receives a present. You can agree on a price limit, such as £5 or £10, agree on a day to exchange gifts (the best part of a Secret Santa) and then all you need to do it keep who you have a secret – yeah, so that might not end up happening.
A Secret Santa can be so much fun, but you might want to make sure you decide with your housemates beforehand whether you’re doing genuine gifts or jokey gifts this year (awkward moment when someone gives a lovely, framed photo of you all together and receives a Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer G-string in return).
Home Cooked Meal
December wouldn’t be December without a few pre-Christmas dinners to warm up for the big day. If you’ve never done a roast before, what better time to start? Plenty of supermarkets will be selling all manner of party platters and frozen veg to help streamline the process. Pool together some money with your housemates and do a big Christmas dinner together; it makes a lovely farewell event for the holidays and gives you a chance to try out that new way of doing roast potatoes you read about on the internet.
No student accommodation would be complete this December without some over-the-top home-made decorations. Pound shops are incredibly useful for sourcing bright, festive and garish (to the point of horrifying) decorations that you can utilise in your accommodation to really bring out the Christmas cheer.
You can get tiny Christmas trees, plastic elves, tinsel and all manner of things. If you’re feeling crafty, you can get out some card and pretend you’re in Year 5 again by cutting out some snowflakes to stick to the windows or hang from the ceiling.
Christmas Day at Uni
Not everyone will be heading home for Christmas this year. Whether this is for personal reasons or for international students who would have to travel too far afield, Christmas Day can be a bit of an awkward time for those spending the holidays at their University.
Most public places will be closed on the 25th December in the UK. So, students who will still be in their University accommodation on this day might be wondering what they can do. If you have some housemates or friends sticking around too, consider booking a meal out on Christmas Day. Some restaurants stay open and serve a special Christmas menu; however, bookings will fill up fast, so you’ll need to book ASAP to get a reservation.
If Christmas really isn’t your thing, consider helping out in your community on the 25th. Plenty of charities will be running events for people who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with, such as the elderly. Charities such as Community Christmas run lunch events across the country and will be looking for volunteers to meet up with these older people on Christmas Day. You can use their useful postcode search function to find out if any of these events are happening close to you.
Finally, check with your University. Universities are typically closed on Christmas Day, but they may be running events in the run-up to Christmas for their students staying around for the holidays. If nothing else, you may get put in contact with fellow students who you can spend Christmas with, if all of your housemates are going home.
From all of us here at CityBlock, we wish you a Very Merry Student Christmas! We look forward to welcoming you back in the new year.