5 Ways to Celebrate Christmas on a Student Budget

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. There are trees to decorate, presents to buy (and open), and loads of food to be eaten. But, for us students, the festive season sometimes proves a little too expensive. If, like me, you are attempting to limit your Christmas expenses and worried about how much the holiday is ultimately going to cost you, here are 5 easy ways to save money on celebrating Christmas, either in your student flats or at home.

1. Make your own decorations

If you add it all up, all the tinsel, baubles and fairy lights that you buy to decorate your home have a serious impact on your bank account. So, why not use this holiday season to discover your crafty side? Raid your local supermarket, or arts and crafts supply store, and create your own homemade Christmas decorations. There are plenty of guidelines online, and you'll have the satisfaction of hanging something that you have made yourself on your tree. 

2. Secret Santa

If you're struggling to come up with the necessary expenses to buy all your friends or flatmates Christmas presents, and you still have to think about what to buy your family back home, try suggesting that your flat or dorm building do a 'Secret Santa' gift-giving. You each pick a single person to buy a present for and designate a day to open them all together. It's a great way to save money, and also to show someone how much you appreciate them by putting a lot of thought into their gift. 

3. 'Potluck' Christmas dinner

Gathering all your closest friends together in one place to cook a glorious Christmas dinner seems to be becoming a tradition among the student population. However, if you find yourself a bit short on funds, try proposing making it like a 'potluck' where each person brings something to the table - for example, one person brings potatoes and someone else brings a dessert. Then you'll only have one thing to worry about buying and preparing, and you could even make it a themed dinner. 

4.  Charity shops

As you may have noticed, Penryn and Falmouth are not short on charity shops. These shops are great because they allow you to buy things cheap while also doing good for the charity the shop supports, like Sue Ryder or British Heart Foundation. If you're low on cash and need an outfit for the next Christmas get-together or party, you can find some nice, cheap outfits in these stores. Alternatively, you could design your own Christmas jumpers by re-inventing the ones you never wear. 

5. Make your own gifts

Homemade gifts are a wonderful thing to receive. From baking a batch of Christmas cookies to creating a photo collage, gifts that you make yourself seem to always be of more importance - especially for family members. It shows you have put a lot of thought and time into giving this person a perfect Christmas present, it also allows you to get your creative juices flowing and may inspire you to make gifts when other important occasions like birthdays come along.