How to Spend 12 Days of Christmas

Christmas is a time of year where families come together, people eat far too much, and alcohol consumption hits the roof. The Coca Cola advert has hit our televisions and holiday cheer is all around us. Christmas may not be for everyone but as a student it is a perfect time of year to lay back and just enjoy it for what it is: one big party. Here are just a few things to do in Nottingham this year to get you in the Christmas mood.

1. Christmas bar crawl

Dress up as your favourite Christmas symbol, whether it be Santa Claus or Rudolph, and stumble your way around Nottingham from bar to bar spreading the Christmas cheer. For Freshers and Final year students this is a perfect way to either introduce yourself to bars you may not have come across yet, or to start saying your farewells to those that have provided you with many unforgettable nights throughout the years. Look out for societies running bar crawls or take the initiative and organise your own.

2. German Christmas Market

Paralympic Gold Medallist Richard Whitehead has already switched on the Christmas lights signifying the start of Nottingham’s Christmas celebrations and Nottingham council promises that this year Market Square will be filled with rides, festive food and drink, and art and craft stalls guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.  

3. House Party

If bar crawls are not your idea of fun in this chilly winter weather why not hit up or host a Christmas house party this year. All it takes is some cheap Christmas decorations, festive outfits and enough friends to make your small student house seem like a packed night at Ocean.


4. Christmas Film Marathon

There are so many films that gather dust eleven out of twelve months of the year but in December they can safely come out of hiding. Check out our list of the ‘Top Christmas Films Ever’ to keep you entertained over the holidays.

5. Ice-skating

Nottingham National Ice Centre will be opening their Christmas Ice Rink from the 10th December to the 6th January. Christmas songs and fairy lights will provide you with exactly what is needed for a magical Christmas experience. Market Square won’t be having their annual outdoor ice-skating arena once again this year so this may be your only opportunity to show off your skating skills. For more details look here. ( )

6. Secret Santa

As students it is inevitable that come Christmas our bank accounts are looking pretty empty and we are in dire need of our January student loans. Why not make Christmas a little bit cheaper this year by doing a Secret Santa with your close friends or housemates. Everyone gets something but you only pay for one. Pick your price and remember that it’s the thought that counts. Let’s be honest everyone enjoys receiving (and giving) gifts so this will just add a little extra Christmas cheer.

7. Christmas Come Dine With Me

Why not put your cooking skills to the test and compete with friends and housemates for title of ‘Best Chef’. For one night you may have to plan, time and aim for perfection but once your turn is done you get to enjoy multiple three-course meals. Definitely beats beans on toast.

8. Buy a Christmas Tree

Want to add a little decoration to your student house this year? Then why don’t you buy a Christmas tree. You could invest in a real one or get cheap plastic ones from Poundland or Amazon. Personally I’d go for plastic to avoid having to clean up all the pine needles off of the floor. Now all you need are some cheap decorations to spruce up your tree this winter and you are all set.

9. Make Mulled Wine, Warm Cider, Eggnog and Mince Pies

As students most of us will use any excuse to drink alcohol and eat food so making your own Christmas alcoholic beverages and homemade mince pies might be just the perfect thing to keep you warm on all those chilly winter nights. Take a look here for some great recipes. (  


10. Christmas Craft Fair

On Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of December why not visit the magnificent Wollaton Hall and courtyards inside of Wollaton Deer Park where you will have the opportunity to explore the grounds which star as ‘Wayne Manor’ in The Dark Knight Rises. This is the perfect time to shop at the craft fair and markets to buy those last minute gifts for your family and friends. On the Sunday you will also have the chance to make your very own Christmas Angel for just £3, perhaps a decoration for your brand new Christmas tree?

11. Visit Santa at the Victoria Centre

So this may be considered inappropriate for people aged 8 and above but this year Santa will be at Nottingham’s Victoria Centre from Monday 12th November to Monday 24th December. This may be a great idea if you have young relatives who still cherish the belief in Santa and it’s only £3.95 per child including a Christmas gift. If said young relatives do not exist in your life then no worries as the Victoria centre is decorated with Christmas cheer and is also the perfect location for those last minute gifts.

12. Go to the Pantomime

Named “The Greatest Pantomime of them all”, Nottingham’s Cinderella is likely to provide some laughter and fun with “dazzling sets, amazing costumes, an abundance of comedy and stunning special effects”. The show will be running from the 8th of December to the 13th of January. Grab your tickets here now so that you don’t miss out later!

So don’t be a scrooge this Christmas, put a smile on your face and a skip in your step for it is one of the rare times of year where you can embrace your inner child and feel the magic around you.

Allie is a fourth year American Studies student, who returned from a year abroad studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she joined the Illinois Zeta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She is the Social Secretary of the AmeriCan Society at Nottingham, enjoys travelling, and has a tiny obsession with the Lion King. 

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